Priscilla Ouichida new JACL National Director
Priscilla Ouichida has been selected as the new JACL national director effective on June 1, 2012. She previously served a term of JACL's National vice president of general operations and worked as chuief of staff and legislative director for several law makers in the California State Legislature. She takes over the position of Floyd Mori.
U.S. Fund for Unicef
The Japanese Chamber of Comerce of Southern California is working with UNICEF in efforts to collect funds for the Japan Disaster Relief Fund. Checks can be made payable to U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Please write Japan Disaster Fund in the Memo. Mail it to Japanese Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 244 So. San Pedro #504, Los Angeles, CA 90012. For further information you may call the Japanese Chamber at (213) 626-3067.
American Red Cross Donations for victims of Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami
The American Red Cross donated 91% of all funds raised while 9 % is deducted for administrative costs. As of Wednesday, the American Red Cross had received roughly $2.2 million from cell phone users who sent texts of REDCROSS or GIFT to 90999. Those messages result in donations of $10 and $25, respectively, according to Red Cross officials.
Memorial Service for victims of earthquake and Tsunami in Japan
The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center will hold a service on Thursday March 17, 2011 begining at 6;30 p.m. at the JACCC Plaza at 244 S. San Pedro Street in downtown Los Angeles. It is open to the public. For more information call (213) 628-2725.
The event is cosponsored by JACL PSW, Japanese American National Museum, Keiro, Little Tokyo Business Association, Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Asia Merican Symphony Orchestra, Cold Tofu Improv, Go for Broke National Education Center, Little Tokyo Service Center, METRO, Mikawaya, Nikkei Interfaith Counseil, Nisei Week Foundation, Pacific Comemerce Bank, The Robert Group and the U.S. - Japan Council and other community groups. Also helping co-sponsoring the event are Congresswoman Lucille Roybal Allard, State Senator Kevin DeLeon, Assembly Speake John A. Perez, and Councilwoman Jan Perry. There will be a representative from Japan Disaster relief funds, for individuals who wish to make a contribution.
Disaster Relief International
Disaster Relief International is helping with raising funds for Japan Relief and Recovery Fund.
Donations can be made to Direct Relief International
Disaster Relief International
27 S. La Patera Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93117
PSW JACL College Internship Program
The Pacific Southwest District JACL is now accepting applications for a new college internship program. It is a four month program that places interns in Asian Pacific Islander advocacy community based programs such as Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, Asian Pacific Islanders California Action Network, and PSW JACL. Each intern will receive a $1,000.00 educational scholarship at the conclusion of the internship. The deadline for applications is Friday December 3, 2010. For more information visit www.jaclpsw.org.
Downtown JACL congratulates 442nd 100th Battalion and MIS
The Downtown Chapter JACL gives thanks to Senator Barbara Boxer for her passage of Senate Bill 1055 which will award the Congressional Gold Medal to Japanese American soldiers of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service (MIS). The Congressional Gold Medal is Congress’ highest civilian honor.
The “Go for Broke” regiments, the 100th/442nd is the most highly decorated unit for its size and length of service in U.S. military history. Among the many awards and citations are: seven Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor, 29 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars with 28 Oak Leaf Clusters, 22 Legion of Merit Medals, 15 Soldier’s Medals, 4,000 Bronze Stars and more than 4,000 Purple Hearts.
The work of 6,000 MIA workers in the U.S. Military work proved to be vital to U.S. military successes in the Pacific Theater, from China to Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima to Leyte, and in occupied Japan.
The MIS has been credited with shortening the war in the Pacific and saving countless Allied lives. President Bill Clinton honored the MIS with a Presidential Unit Citation in 2000.
December 2010 Holiday Cheer
The Japanese American Citizens League PSW District is once again raising funds to benefit the Holiday Cheer Program which provides support to needed families in the area. The JACL Downtown Los Angeles Chapter helps spearhead this annual program with the leadership of Amy Tambara, Chairperson. The solicitation period is November 1, 2010 thru December 31, 2010. The 2009 activity collected a total of $14,743 of which $1,801 (12.2%) was applied to expenses and $12, 942.00 ws donated to charity.
Annual Day of Rememberance
February 19, 2011
The Annual Day of Remembrance 2011 will be held at the Japanese American National Museum on Feburary 19, 2011 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The planning committee members from JACL PSW, NCRR and JANM have been working to present another excellent program for the community.
The theme is DOR: September 11 - 10 years Later". The Day of Remembrance Committee that worked on the event in 2010 were Craig Ishii, Miyako Kadogawa, Suzy Katsuda, Chris Komai, Kene Kubo, Kathy Masaoka, Kay Ochi, Koji Sakai, and Ian Tokumaru. Special Thanks to Carrie Morita, Wendy Mori, June Hibino, Kimi Maru, Evelyn Yoshimura, Mayumi Masaoka, Craig Uchizono.
Asian American Wins Confirmation as Chief Justice of the
California Supreme Court
The Commission on Judicial Appointments recently confirmed Tani Cantil Sakauye to be the first Filipina American Chief Justice of California. Despite being nominated by a Republican moderate governor Arnold Schwarzenneger, she received unanimous confirmation from the Commission comprised of Chief Justice Ronald George, 2nd District Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein and Democratic nominee for Governor Jerry Brown.
Two people spoke in opposition including Edwin Snell of San Bernardino who said the that Cantil-Sakauye of having a bias against the rights of the accused. Geofrey L. Graybill, a deputy attorney general said that Cantil Sakauye has favored women in domestic violence and family law cases.
"We congratulate her on her appointment," stated Kitty Sankey of the Downtown JACL. "Obviously we are excited that an Asian American has been appointed to the California Supreme Court.
" Its difficult to gage where she will be on the issues considering she was a former deputy legal affairs secretary and deputy legislative secretary for Governor George Deukmejian, "stated Kitty Sankey. "One the one hand you have a Deukmejian appointee and other the other hand you have Jerry Brown supporting her." Cantil did also get the support of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area.
JACL Pacific Southwest District to honor Downtown JACL's Kitty Sankey on October 9, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at The Grand
The PSW JACL is honoring Kitty Sankey and thirteen others at the 14th Annual Awards Dinner. The Community Honorees are Iku Kiriyama, Debbie Nakatomi and Tad Nakamura. The Chapter Honorees include Jean Shigematsu, West LA, Doris Asano, Arizona, Aiko King Ventura County, Betty Oka, Orange County, Louis Sakamoto Greater LA Singles, Sam Simoguchi Venice-Culver, Nancy Gohata, San Fernando Valley. The event will be held on Saturday October 9, 2010 at the Grand Hotel 4101 E. Willow Street, Long Beach, CA 90815. Contact the PSW Office for tickets at (213) 626-4471.
Downtown JACL Chapter & L.A. City Councilwoman Jan Perry help organize Dodgers Game for senior citizens at Little Tokyo Towers for July 21, 2010
The Downtown Los Angeles JACL and City Councilwoman Jan Perry's Office are helping organize an outing for senior citizens at the Little Tokyo Towers that will feature the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 21, 2010 at Dodger Stadium.
The Downtown JACL are purchasing and donatng the tickets while Councilwoman Perry's Office is helping provide a charter bus as transportation. The Dodgers play the San Francisco Giants at 7:10 p.m. at Dodger Stadium. It is also Japanese Night, meaning the Dodgers will also feature Taiko and other Japanese theme entertainment prior to the game.
"For many of the seniors, it provides a rare opportunity to get out into the community. It is an event that the seniors look forward to each year. We know it contributes to their quality of life," stated Kitty Sankey, a Downtown JACL Board member and volunteer chaperone for that evening.
"Both the Downtown JACL and LTT thank Jan Perry's Office for providing the transportation, " stated Downtown JACL Board member Rodney Nakada who is also serving as a volunteer Chaperone that evening.
The Downtown JACL volunteers who will be present at the game include Kitty Sankey, Amy Tambara, Rodney Nakada and Casey China.
Nisei Week in Little Tokyo August 14 -22.
The Downtown JACL reminds everyone to visit Little Tokyo for Nisei Week August 14 - 22. There are all kinds of interesting events thru out the week. While you are in Little Tokyo please patronize the various restaurants and stores in the area. The merchants appreciate your support.
For a listing of events please visit www.Niseiweek.org The Nisei Week parade is scheduled for Sunday August 15, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. The Grand Parade will feature the Nebuta Festival featuring Madame Fujima Kansuma, the 2010 Grand Parade Japanese Dance Choreographer with Dances Choreographed to the music of Arigato by SMAP and Wani Natte Odori by V6.
Los Angeles Elementary School: Swimmy, Kodomo no Nebuta
Los Angeles Elementary School’s entry in the 2010 Nebuta Parade, August 15, will be hand-held fish representing the famous story by Leo Lionni, Swimmy. When Swimmy, a small black fish, encounters a school of small red fish that is frightened by a large tuna, he encourages them to form an outline of an even larger fish to frighten away the tuna. Approximately thirty students in drill team formation will represent Swimmy and his friends. At periodic points during the parade, the drill team will form a vertical outline of a large fish with Swimmy as its “eye.” The tuna will indeed swim away in fear of the much larger fish!
The themes expressed in the story include friendship, diversity, cooperation, and teamwork – all-important themes in keeping Little Tokyo a vibrant and exciting community. Nebuta, a lantern float, is very much Japanese, but Los Angeles Elementary School’s entry makes the Nebuta concept an American idea. Swimmy is a popular book used in many American schools and the entry is a drill team composed of students of non-Japanese descent. All of the themes in the book are familiar and important to Los Angeles – friendship, diversity, cooperation and teamwork!
Los Angeles Elementary School, located in Mid-Wilshire/Koreatown, is a K-5 school with approximately 95% of its 800+ students classified as Hispanic. This inner-city school is proud to have many services and programs offered to it, through the following: L.A.’s Best, an after-school program (homework assistance, enrichment opportunities, including drill team), Reading to Kids (volunteers read to students at 8 mid-Wilshire schools once/month), adoption by the Japanese American Optimist Club (offering programs over a 17-year span including Career Day, holiday parties, pen pals, Internet Safety Workshop for Parents, etc.), visits by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California (Ashinaga Student Program), a Parent Center, and the Zero to Five Program (classes for parents of infants and toddlers). Groups that have helped with the Swimmy Nebuta also include members of the Paper Craft Arts Class at the Culver City Senior Center and the Downtown Los Angeles Chapter, JACL.
Edward Milton Chen nominated to U.S. District Court, Northern District
Magistrate Judge Edward Milton Chen has been nominated by President Barack Obama to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District. Chen is one of the attorneys who worked to overturn the wrongful conviction of Fred Korematsu who was sent to jail in 1942 for refusing to obey the World War II internment order. The conviction was overturned in 1982 before Marilyn Hall Patel's Federal Courtroom in San Francisco.
The Downtown JACL supports President Obama's nomination of Edward Milton Chen to the U.S. District Court, Northern District.
Kyoto Grand Hotel and Weller Court in foreclosure
The Kyoto Grand Hotel and Garden and Weller Court are currently in default of a loan in the amount of $33.8 million reported the Rafu Shimpo. 3D Investments purchased the New Otani Hotel and the adjacent shopping center for $54 million from East West Development corporation in 2007. The Kyoto Grand Hotel is the focal point of Little Tokyo hosting many local community events including the annual Downtown JACL Woman of the Year event.
The Downtown JACL will need to evaluate whether the 2011 Woman of the Year event will return to the Kyoto Grand Hotel in light of the economic woes of the Hotel.
2010 DOWNTOWN JACL AND THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WOMENS
SOCIETY WOMEN OF THE YEAR LUNCHEON
SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2010 AT THE KYOTO GRAND HOTEL
The Downtown Los Angeles JACL and the Southern California Japanese Womens Society are honoring four women to be honored as "Women of the Year". These Honorees are Grace Shiba, Marilyn Nobori, Nancy Kyoko Oda, and Katsuko Teruya Arakawa.
"We certainly are very pleased to honoree these pioneers who have helped improved the quality of our community," stated Kitty Sankey, JACL Boardmember. The event starts at 12:30 a.m.and will conclude at 2:00 p.m.
Ticket prices are $40.00 per ticket. It will take place on Sunday May 16, 2010 at the Kyoto Grand Hotel Grand Ballroom located at 120 S. Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
For more information about the 2010 Woman of the Year, you may contact Amy Tambara by calling her at (323) 722-3897 English speaking.
You may also contact Vice President Rodney Nakada (English & Japanese Speaking) by calling (213) 628-1800.
Seating arrangement are made in tables of 10. Please list the names of the attendees at each table. Deadline for tickets is May 1, 2010.
Make checks payable to "Downtown JACL" and mail to Amy Tambara, 526 1/2 W. Riggin Street, Monterey Park, CA 91754.
California Nisei College Diploma Project
The California Nisei College Diploma Project, a program established by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California provides community outreach and education for a new law, Assembly Bill 37. The purpose is to confer upon the over 2,500 students of Japanese Ancestry who were in school at the time of Executive Order 9066 when Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated to concentration camps. AB 37 allows a representative to accept an honorary degree on behalf of the individuals who are deceased. For assistance please contact Ms. Aya Ino (415) 567-5505 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Ms. Courtney Okuhara (415) 567-5505 email@example.com. You may also contacts the schools directly as follows:
For University of California inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (510) 987-0239
For California State University inquries email Nisei@calstate.edu or call (562) 951-4723
For California Community College inquiries email email@example.com or call (916) 327-5361
Stand up for Justice
The film "Stand up for Justice" will be released on Sunday February 14, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at the National Center for the Presevation of Democracy in Little Tokyo. Tickets for the DVD release are $10.00 for members of the NCRR and the Visual Communications and $15.00 for general admission. To purchase tickets visit www.vconline.org. You may call (213)680-4462 for more info.
"We encourage all JACL and community members to support NCRR and Visual Communications for their noble efforts in releasing this very historical the release of the DVD video. The story is about Ralph Lazo a teen hispanic from LA who volunatrily went to Manzanar concentration camp to be with his Japanese American friends, " stated JACL boardmember Kitty Sankey.
Downtown JACL asks everyone to support Rafu Shimpo
The Downtown Los Angeles Chapter is asking all community members to support the Rafu Shimpo, one of the oldest Japanese Daily Newspapers founded in 1903. The Rafu Shimpo has accumulated more than $350,000.00 in debt.
"The Rafu Shimpo plays a vital role in providing news important to the Japanese American Community," stated Kitty Sankey of the Downtown JACL. "We encourage all community members to purchase subscriptions and all business owners to consider placing advertising in the newspapers," stated Sankey.
Iku Kiriyama recently spearheaded a townhall meeting at the Veterans Hall at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute recently to address the matter. According to Sankey, many families will order one subsription but pass on the newspaper to other families.
Downtown JACL offers 2009 Scholarship to 9th Street alumni applying to college
The Downtown JACL is offering a scholarship to graduating high school students who previously attended 9th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles, California. Students must have a 2.0 GPA, must have done community service, and is applying to an accredited vocational school or college.
Downtown JACL opposes proposition 8
The Downtown Los Angeles Japanese American Citizens League joins Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger, the ACLU of Southern California and the California Teachers Association in opposing proposition 8.
The California Constitution now guarantees marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.
Prop 8 would change the Constituion so that: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The effect would be legal discrimination against same sex couples.
Same sex marriage is important because (1) it allows important medical decisions to be made by partners, (2) It allows extended leave to care of sick families, (3) It allows one to sue for wrongful death, (4) It allows familes to have health care coverage and other insurance and (5) it allows one to be burried next to a partner, according to API Equality-LA. "Because Proposition 8 eliminates marriage for same sex couples, we urge all Californians to oppose proposition 8,"stated Kitty Sankey President of the Downtown L.A. Japanese American Citizens League.
Downtown JACL supports push for Postal Honor for
Japanese Americans who served in WWII.
The Downtown Los Angeles Japanese American Citizens League supports the push for a Nisei WWII Commemorative Stamp. More than 30,000 Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans) volunteered during WWII. What resulted was a mostly Japanese American unit called the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and 100th Infantry Battalion which became one of the most highly decorated units in U.S. Military History. The U.S. Postal Service Commemorative stamp review committee meets in January 2008.
The U.S. Postal Service has issued commemorative stamps honoring minority veterans in the past including honoring Latin Veterans in 1984 and the African American Buffalo Soldiers about ten years later. Among the success of the 442nd was the rescue of a Texas batallion trapped in the Vosges mountains of France. Its reported that the 442nd Regimental Combat lost four men for every Texan rescued.
In January 2008, the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committe (CSAC) which is composed of 15 volunteers, rejected the Nisei Vets Stamps proposal and said that there are no plans to reconsider it. According to David Failor, executive director of Stamp Services for the U.S. Postal Service said the Nisei veterans stamp was not approved because of an internal guideline that states, "Stamps will not be issued to honor individual sub branches, units or divisions of the military." Letters of support should be sent to Chairperson Jean Picker Firstenberg, Citizens' Stamp Advisory Commkittee c/o Stamp Development, U.S. Postal Service 1735 North Lynn Street, Suite 5013, Arlington, CA 22209-6432.
Instead of approving the Nisei Stamps, the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee approved The Fox TV cartoon "The Simpsons," stamps on Alaska Statehood, Edgar Allan Poe, civil rights pioneers and the Lunar New Year. Congressman Mike Honda will be circulating a Congressional letter of support asking for reconsideration. CSAC will be planning to meet again in July 2009. CSAC is also meeting on April 23 and 24, 2009 to read all the letters of support for the Nisei veterans stamp.
To sign the online petition, please click on the following link.
Downtown Los Angeles Japanese American Citizens League
Celebrating 81 years of Advocacy in 2010
The Downtown Los Angeles Chapter is the first official Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and will be celebrating 81 years of existance in 2010. The Group is ably led by President Kitty Sankey, a school teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Dedicated Board members include Amy Tambara, a local school principal, Rodney Nakada, an insurance Broker, Nancy Nix a librarian, along with Marilyn Nakata, Glen Furumura, Lillian Inatomi, Mary Tsuboi, Patty Sookdet and others.
The Downtown Los Angeles Japanese American Citizens League has been a spark plug in the Little Tokyo Community by hosting the annual Woman of the Year Event held at the New Otani Hotel, the Holiday Cheer Program, a L.A. Dodger outing for the Senior Citizens at the Little Tokyo Towers and for given out an annual scholarship for Ninth Street Elementary School alumnus applying to college.
In recent years, the Downtown L.A. Japanese American Citizens League has supported the Kamehameha Schools program in Hawaii and has advocated for diversity in the judiciary. The Downtown JACL has been a force in helping to improve the quality of life for others. The Downtown Chapter is like no other and we welcome new members to our meetings. If you would like to join our chapter, please contact Kitty Sankey at (310) 838-8553 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make a difference in the Little Tokyo Community and join our chapter today!
How we began in 1929
The year was 1929 when a group of Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans) banded together in Los Angeles calling themselves the Japanese Citizens Association. The Association's first president, Masao Igasaki, was a Hawaiian Nisei who had just passed the bar and was beginning his legal practice in Los Angeles. Serving with Igasaki were James Suyenaga as vice-president, Elmer Yamamoto as secretary, Dr. Edward Tanaka as sergeant-at-arms, and Thomas Takayama as treasurer.
Soon, as a result of conferencing in Seattle, Washington, the newly formed Japanese American Citizen League (JACL) declared the first official JACL chapter noting its representation of the major population center for Americans of Japanese ancestry. Thus, the “Association” became the JACL-Downtown Los Angeles Chapter (DLA). The 79 years since has seen many distinguished leaders preside over its meetings, beginning with pre-war presidents: Kay Shugahara, John Maeno, Herbert Wada, Ken Matsumoto, Fred Tayama, Shigemi Aratani, and Dr. Masaru Horii.
The Downtown Chapter, forced to curtail its civic work by wartime hysteria and Executive order 9066, reactivated in July 31, 1946 with Frank Chuman (author of the acclaimed The Bamboo People) at the helm. Frank was followed in subsequent years by John Aiso (WWII Military Intelligence Service language School head and the first Japanese Supreme Court Justice), Dr. John Watanabe, Dr. George Kambara, Harry Honda (longstanding editor of the JACL newspaper, Pacific Citizen). Harry M. Fugita, David Yokozeki, Kei Uchima, Duke S. Ogata, Frank Suzukida, and Katsuma Mukaeda.
Past presidents of the Downtown L.A. Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League have served the community in various capacities in both local and national JACL and also as leaders in their respective fields including business, law, medicine, journalism, banking and politics. Such include Frank Omatsu, Father Clement, Frank M. Tsuchiya, Ed Matsuda, Alfred Hatate (also JACO District Governor), Kiyoshi Kawai, and Ted Kojima. Those who served additionally as Japanese Chamber of Commerce president or vice president are Eiji Tanabe (known for his work as a Nisei Week founder), Soichi Fukui, Takito Yamaguma (1972, 4th Imperial Order of Japan recipient), Toshi Yamamoto(1997, Order of the Secret Treasure, Gold and Silver), Mitsuhiko Shimizu and Joe Hazama.
The chapter has benefited from the leadership skills of Sansei (third generation Japanese Americans), presidents – George Fujita, Patrick Ogawa, Mary H. Nishimoto, George Kita, Gary Itano, Greg Tanaka, and Rodney Nakada. This leadership tradition, fostered by JACL, found Paul Igasaki, grandson of the first Downtown Los Angeles Chapter president Masao Igasaki, serving as the JACL Washington, D.C. representative. In fact, current president Kitty Sankey is the granddaughter of Gongoro Nakamura, a 1959 DLA president and a former president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce.
The Downtown Los Angeles Japanese American Citizens League has mounted Issei (first generation Japanese in America) Recognition programs; presided over ensuring the franchise of the Issei obtained through the McCarren Act during the early fifties; participated in Nisei Week events and planning; and for 53 years, co-sponsored the Women of the Year annual luncheons in recognition of the individual achievements of Japanese American women.
The Downtown L.A. Japanese American Citizens League has supported Little Tokyo health Fairs for the elderly and the Shogun Santa Parades for the local youth and their parents; actively contributed toward achieving redress and reparations for the WWII injustices; and supported programs in local schools.
In addition to supporting the efforts of many organizations concerned with the artistic, cultural, historic, and social development of Americans having Japanese or Asian/Pacific heritage, the Downtown Los Angeles Chapter has often come to the defense of groups and individuals who have had their civil and constitutional rights threatened. The chapter supports a scholarship for graduates of Ninth Street Elementary School, sponsors an annual Dodger Night for residents of Little Tokyo Towers, and administers the annual Holiday Cheer program that provides monetary supplements to the needy.