Regional Director's Report
    May 02, 2010

    NCWNP Regional Director’s Report February – April 2010 Submitted by Patty Wada (1) Program Area: Issues, Awareness and Response * Legislative/Advocacy: (Ongoing = RDs) Federal: Wrote letter to Senator Jeff Bingaman, who chairs the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, to urge his support of S. 1596, the Gold Hill-Wakamatsu Preservation Act of 2009. A copy of the letter was sent to Lynn Abramson of Senator Barbara Boxer’s office. * Community/Cultural Preservation: (Ongoing = RDs) API National Historic Preservation Forum: Contacted Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) in L.A. to inquire how JACL might play a role in this upcoming summer forum on the preservation of AAPI cultural and historic sites and buildings. Have called into planning conference calls and am promoting the forum to NCWP chapters. Some chapters, like San Benito County JACL, are in the midst of trying to obtain funds to rehab and preserve their buildings, so networking at the forum could prove beneficial to their efforts. Also alerted Fred Kochi of the Gold Hill Wakamatsu Colony Committee. Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan (JBNP): This office belongs to the Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan sub-committee addressing “Community Heritage.” This committee meets twice a month and will be making a community presentation on May 17. The JBNP is what the City of San Francisco will be using as its roadmap in planning for a future Japantown. Community involvement and input is critical to preserving our culture and history with integrity and a respect for the legacy. A community informational meeting, which provides an overview, was held April 27. Nisei Diploma Project: This office sent a letter to the SF City College Board of Trustees to urge movement on its implementation of AB 37, as CCSF has made little effort to work on awarding honorary degrees to Nisei who were enrolled at CCSF at the time of their incarceration. Continue to work in coalition and attend meetings with the JCCCNC on the Nisei Diploma Project, whereby the UC campuses, California State Universities and community colleges award honorary degrees to those Nisei who were enrolled as students when WW II broke out, forcing them to abandon their studies. Effort now focuses on locating more Nisei who were at UC Berkeley in preparation for a May 20 ceremony on the Cal campus, which this office will attend. UCB held its first ceremony for Nisei students in December 2009. This office is also assisting SF State University on finding former Nisei students, with JACL chapters playing a key role in locating individuals. The Salinas Valley JACL has agreed to help locate Nisei who attended Hartnell College. The San Jose, Silicon Valley, West Valley and Sequoia chapters were asked to help locate Nisei who attended San Jose State, and the Livingston-Merced JACL was asked to help with Modesto Junior College. The Sacramento and Florin JACL Chapters were asked to help locate Nisei who attended Sacramento Junior College. Arboga Assembly Center: Attended the dedication ceremony, luncheon and program for the Arboga Assembly Center commemorative plaque, held on Saturday, Feb. 27 and hosted by the Marysville JACL. The Marysville Chapter has worked very hard and long on fundraising for the commemorative plaque, and has submitted grant proposals, worked with donors, city and state agencies and officials, with school district officials, and designers to make this become a reality. JA Focus Groups: Focus groups for this University of Maryland project were held in San Francisco, Washington State, Hawaii and Washington, DC. However, further input from Nikkei in the Sacramento and San Jose areas has been requested. Chapters and individuals in those areas were contacted with a request that they participate in individual phone interviews. These JA Focus Groups are being conducted by Prof. Larry Shinagawa and his staff, with the expectation that the report will be completed by the National Convention in Chicago. Nikkei Matsuri: Disseminated posters for San Jose Nikkei Matsuri to various businesses in SF Japantown for posting. * Education: (Ongoing = RDs) None * Prejudice, Discrimination Response: (Ongoing = RDs) JA Targeted by Supervisor: Former Chevron Corporation employee John Suzuki has joined the Berkeley JACL. This office previously wrote a letter to Chevron Corporation on behalf of Mr. Suzuki, a Sansei who reported that his supervisor had called him “a stupid jap.” The attorney for Mr. Suzuki has requested additional letters from other community groups and from the Berkeley Chapter. SF Bay Area Hate Crime Coalition: This office is a member of this hate crimes coalition, which meets quarterly. Member organizations were recently sent a survey to assess each organization’s priorities and needs. Victor Hwang of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office is spearheading this coalition. JapaDog: Received calls and emails from Nikkei who were upset with television segments on the “Japadog” hotdog stands in Canada that were highlighted during the Olympics. One feature on “Japadog” appeared with Al Roker of the Today Show and another was broadcast over a Sacramento television station. NCWNP Hate Crime Co-chair Andy Noguchi contacted the station in Sacramento to voice our displeasure. “JAP Cooks”: Received an email from Pam Yoshida of the West Valley JACL about the Whole Foods’ website that carried a customer feedback section on recipes, where the customer-in-question identified her/himself as “JAP Cooks.” While Naomi Matsumoto did email her concern, the website still carries the slur. Hate at Chico State: The student body president of Chico State, Joseph Igbinewelea, was stabbed several times in what police have called a hate crime. The suspects followed Mr. Igbinewelea and called him racial slurs before attacking him. One 19-year-old suspect has been arrested and is facing charges of attempted murder and a hate crime. Tomoko Roudebush of the Diablo Valley JACL personally knows the president of CSU Chico and contacted her. Tomoko alerted us to a campus rally and peace vigil and asked for participation of the Marysville JACL. This office contacted the chapter, and Chapter Executive Council Member Frank Hatamiya responded that he would make efforts to have a representative there. “The Orientals”: Was given a heads-up by San Jose President Leon Kimura about a school in New York that has the “Orientals” as its team mascot. The school was notified, but thus far, no response has been received. Midwest Regional Director Bill Yoshino, who had just responded to another high school in Ohio which had as its nickname “The Orientals,” reported that the Superintendent there is establishing a process whereby the name will be changed. The mascot of this school is currently Chang, the Dragon. * U.S.- Japan Relations: (Patty) JALD: Attended a dinner reception for the 2010 participants to the Japanese American Leadership Delegation program, sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’. The dinner was hosted by Japan Consul General Nagamine. Other JACL members in attendance included Larry Oda, Floyd Shimomura, Miko Sawamura and Carole Hayashino. * Anti-Hate Program: (Bill, Patty, Christine) Hate Crime Workshop: MDC Regional Director Bill Yoshino and I conducted two hate crime workshops at the East Coast Asian American Student Union Conference (ECAASU) held March 5-7 at the University of Pennsylvania. In the first workshop, we had students sitting on the floor because we ran out of seats, illustrating how this issue is important and of interest to today’s college students. Anti-Hate Liaisons: As 2010 chapter rosters continue to come in, this office is compiling a list of the NCWNP anti-hate liaisons, and forwarding names to Ford Fellow Christine Munteanu, who oversees JACL’s anti-hate newsletter. * Health: (RDs) Volunteer: High School senior David Lee expressed interest in doing volunteer work, especially in the area of health. This office has asked if he would have any interest in learning more about Japanese Americans and Hepatitis B and possibly providing an educational workshop. JA Doctors: The DC Office requested the names and contact info of some JA doctors in San Francisco. This info will be shared with the National Council of AAPI Physicians, which is holding its first national convention in May. It has been reported that this group lacks a good representation of JA physicians. Active Choice Program: Provided chapter presidents’ labels to Blue Shield interns for a mailing they were doing to promote the Active Choice Program, a health insurance program for young adults in California. (2) Program Area: Youth Leadership and Empowerment * National Youth/Student Council: (Ongoing = Craig, Patty) NYSC Assistance: PSW Director Craig Ishii and I serve as co-managers of the NYSC and maintain regular communication with NYSC Chair Kimberly Shintaku and NYSC Rep Brandon Mita via email and conference calls. Convention Youth Luncheon: Regular communication with the National Youth Chair and Youth Rep to plan for the 2010 Youth Luncheon in Chicago. This office, PSW RD Craig Ishii and PSW intern Stacy Toyota are assigned to assist NYSC with this event. * Youth Leadership Training: (Bill and Patty) * Collegiate DC Leadership Conference: This office will assist MDC Regional Director Bill Yoshino with the Collegiate DC Leadership Conference, which is patterned after our Washington, DC Leadership Conference. This marks the second year of this program, which will run June 10-13, 2010. This office participated in a conference call to begin planning the schedule and discuss presentations, topics, speakers and tours. Good input was received from NCWNP Board members David Unruhe and Tom Nishikawa, who just returned from our Washington DC Leadership Conference. Their feedback was shared with the Collegiate DC planning committee. (3) Program Area: Organizational Development Human Resource Management: (Quarterly = Craig and Patty) * Program Reporting: PSW Director Craig Ishii and I are responsible for staff progress reports on all JACL programs. We request reports from the staff and Fellows for dissemination to National Board members, who serve as program owners. * District and Chapter Support: (Ongoing = RDs) District Board and Council Meetings: Attended the Saturday, April 17 District Board meeting in Rocklin and provided regional director’s report. Addressed follow-up on matters assigned. Will attend the Sunday, May 2 NCWNP District Council meeting in Danville. A regional director’s report was prepared and sent prior to the meeting. Updated District Board roster and Board-Chapter Liaisons list. Sign-in sheets were mailed to host chapter president, Keith Yoshizuka. Memorial Day Services: Contacted Golden Gate Nisei VFW Post #9879 to provide them with contact info for the District’s keynote speaker, Ken Tokutomi of the Placer County JACL. This office will disseminate the Memorial Day programs to NCWNP chapters, along with a solicitation letter that urges chapters to support the services with a donation. Contra Costa JACL: Wrote letter of congratulations for inclusion in the 75th anniversary booklet of the Contra Costa JACL. Unfortunately, was unable to attend the anniversary luncheon on April 11, which featured Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki as the keynote speaker. PC Article: PC reporter Nalea Ko requested names of individuals she could interview for a story she was doing on the 10th anniversary of the JACL Resisters of Conscience ceremony. Andy Noguchi and Mike Kaku, both of whom served on the committee, were referred. Amicus Brief Policy: The Honolulu JACL requested a copy of the National JACL policy regarding the filing of amicus briefs by chapters and districts. While no written policy has been received, President Larry Oda stated his recollection is that chapters/districts are to submit such requests to National JACL and to Legal Counsel. If appropriate, JACL will sign on, but chapters/districts cannot act independently on legal and policy issues. (Governor Alan Nishi reported that he, too, had requested a written copy, but none has been received to date. It was felt if the chapter wished to submit a resolution on this, it should do so.) Yahoo Listserv: As 2010 rosters are finally being submitted in quantify for the convention, this office is updating the yahoo lists for chapter presidents and chapter delegates. Northern Notes: Communicated with Northern Notes’ Editor Dara Tom about our future plans for eliminating the printed copy of NN and going online. Dara has graciously volunteered to begin drafting an editorial policy for our district website, and assisting us with the editing of future articles. Convention Credentialing: Requested NCWNP status report on credentialing of our chapters and sent this report out so chapters would know what remains outstanding. As chapter rosters and other convention requirements are fulfilled, this office informs Credentials Chair Reiko Yoshino and Membership Coordinator Tim Koide, who is the staffperson assigned to the Credentials Committee. Convention Registration: Registration has been slow, with 62 people registered by April 28. This office has requested more convention brochures for dissemination at the NCWNP May 2 District meeting. * Fund Development: (Ongoing = All Staff) JCCCNC, JACL and CCLPEP: Attended meeting and wrote letter of commitment to work with JCCCNC on its grant project, which will engage youth in capturing oral histories of some honorees of the Nisei Diploma Project. JACL and NPS: Served as liaison with Speaker Pelosi’s local office to request a letter of support for National JACL’s grant proposal, the goal of which is to involve youth in preservation issues and develop their passion for continuing these efforts. Community Project: Wrote a letter of support for a grant proposal submitted to the Japantown Foundation by Aya Ino. This project would survey young adults and their connection to Japantown, and later utilize this data to create strategies and programs to attract and engage young people in the community. NJAHS, JACL and NPS: Communicated with NJAHS Director Rosalyn Tonai and NJAHS Fund Developer Francis Wong on JACL collaboration with its grant project. This project involves documenting artifacts from various camp sites, gathering stories of those who created these items in the camps, and providing resources to Sansei/Yonsei/Gosei on how to preserve these historical family treasures. * National Convention 2010: Convention Items: This office is assigned to the Awards Luncheon, Youth Luncheon and Nominations Committee. Participate in convention conference calls held every two weeks. Nominations Committee: Updated the 2010 Candidate Application Form for dissemination and posting on the JACL website. As candidate forms were submitted, this office forwarded them to Nominations Committee Chair Kent Kawai. Two candidates submitted their forms by the deadline – David Kawamoto for national president and David Lin for vp of membership. Any other candidates must now run off the floor and meet additional filing requirements. NCWNP board members were encouraged to identify individuals and encourage them to run. This office is communicating room and audio-visual needs of the Nominations Committee to the Chicago host committee. Awards Luncheon: Have communicated with Perry Miyake, the host committee member assigned to the Awards Luncheon. Areas covered include room set-up, audio-visual, printed program, corporate sponsors and VIPs. This office has communicated with the luncheon emcee, Ross Harano of MDC. Kristin Fukushima of PSW will be assisting with this event, with PSW Regional Director Craig Ishii supervising her. This office drafted a list of luncheon responsibilities that will be shared by the three of us. (4) Program Area: Marketing, Public Relations and Mbrship Services: * National Website: Convention: Wrote a press release announcing that nominations for national office were now open and that guidelines and candidate application forms are available on the JACL website. Following the deadline for nominations, edited a new press release that encourages members to run for office from the convention floor. (5) Miscellaneous: Nakayoshi Gakko: Was contacted by Nakayoshi Gakko for assistance publicizing the Mountain View Buddhist Temple showing of “Only the Brave.” Contacted our San Jose, Silicon Valley and West Valley chapters for assistance in their efforts. Family to Manzanar: Received a call from Dean Yonenaga, who is planning to take his family to Manzanar and requested places where they might stay. Contacted Andy Noguchi, who leads a Sacramento contingent to Manzanar every year; and he provided a wealth of information to Mr. Yonenaga. Legal Referral: Received a call from Marcia Ishikawa Phillips of the East Bay, who was seeking a discrimination attorney. Referrals were provided…and she was encouraged to join the JACL. ? Senior Help: Received a call from Ann Togasaki, who was seeking resources for her mother, who has Alzheimers and requires caregiving assistance. Student Help: Larry Kumabe of the Honolulu JACL called to say his daughter, who attends school in the Bay Area, needs information on the history of Japantown. Shared with him was information on an April 16 lecture on Japantown that his daughter could attend. Investigator: Received a call from Mel Lindstrom, a forensics insurance investigator who works for Policy Find, who was looking into whether Sunset Cleaners in San Mateo, which was owned by a Nisei, carried any insurance in the 50s and 60s, and requested referrals of possible JA insurance companies and services that existed at that time. Budget Planning: Attended staff meeting to work out proposed 2011 program budget. Later, attended JACL National Budget Committee meeting to complete proposed 2011-12 budget for presentation to the National Board Administration: Completed finance reports, timesheets and reconciled bank statements and submitted to National HQ.