The major long-term vision for LTSC CDC is to work with other stakeholders
to revitalize Little Tokyo into a vibrant community by addressing cultural and
community survival, empowering residents, and promoting the economic health of
the area. The Community Organizing department works with the seniors in the
affordable housing in the area to insure their voices are heard in the
community planning and advocacy process. We also work to create a
holistic balance of work, play, and housing by participating in all community
planning efforts, particularly those that involve public agencies and community
representative bodies, to both inform and advocate on neighborhood
Little Tokyo Residents Association
The Little Tokyo Senior
Residents Association (LTSRA) seeks to represent the 1,200 residents living in
five affrodable housing complexes and three residential hotels in Little Tokyo.
The mission of LTSRA is to identify and represent the needs and rights of
low-income senior residents in Little Tokyo, and to increase their involvement
in issues of concern to them, and in civic life generally.
Community Organizing also includes
working to build and strengthen the community coalition necessary to enable
Little Tokyo as a whole to weigh in on issues of development--whether it be
private developments or public transit. Working through the Little Tokyo
Community Council and other coalition bodies, LTSC continues to play a role in
the cultural and historic preservation of Little Tokyo. LTSC has tangibly
contributed by renovating three out of the 15 buildings in the Little Tokyo
Historic District on First Street: the San Pedro Firm Building, the Union
Center for the Arts, and most recently, the Far East Building.
Cultural and Historical Preservation
LTSC also focuses on cultural/historic preservation statewide through the
California Japantown Preservation Pilot Project. This initiative was created by
the State of California to promote the preservation of California's three
remaining Japantowns in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose. The effort to
preserve the three Japantowns is a community-based response to development
plans that threaten the unique cultural character of each Japantown. Using
funds from California Senate Bill 307, the three ethnic communities are seeking
ways to define cultural preservation and integrity while moving forward with
future developments. LTSC works actively with the Little Tokyo Community
Council and the City of Los Angeles to create design guidelines and other
community planning policies that address these issues.
Little Tokyo Service Center in partnership with the over 100 other organizations of the Little Tokyo Community Council are working to create a future for the Little Tokyo district in Los Angeles that:
- Respects and promotes our Japanese American history and culture.
- Retains a strong community fabric.
- Sustains a robust economy with strong independent businesses.
- Embraces green technologies.
Sustainable Little Tokyo seeks to build a cultural ecodistrict in our 130-year-old historic Little Tokyo community that will sustain Little Tokyo for future generations. We are doing this through innovative green infrastructure, growing small businesses, and maintaining our unique cultural Japanese/Japanese American identity through arts and culture.
Through this work, we hope to create a model of what a truly sustainable community looks like as Los Angeles' first cultural ecodistrict!
Keep track of the latest community efforts to shape the future of development on First Street North here - and be sure to check out the new video!
Read the article from LA in Motion, "Envisioning Little Tokyo's Future as a Cultural Ecodistrict" by Thomas Yee at KCET.org.
Watch the video "Building Community & Preserving Culture in Little Tokyo" from Partners in Progress.