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CAUSE, LTSC, and GVJCI to Host Voter Information Workshop Focusing on the General Election

For Immediate Release
September 9, 2016

Media Contact:
Michelle Yamashiro
GVJCI Program Manager
Phone: 310-324-6611
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

CAUSE, LTSC, and GVJCI to Host Voter Information Workshop Focusing on the General Election

Gardena, CA – Changes to healthcare, taxes, and other laws are at stake! To learn more about the California ballot propositions being decided upon during the November 8th general elections, the Center for Asian Americans United for Self-Empowerment (CAUSE), Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), and Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute (GVJCI) will be holding a Voter Information workshop at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall (1964 W. 162nd Street, Gardena, CA 90247) on Saturday September 24th, 2016 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM.

This voter education session will be geared primarily towards Japanese, Korean, and English-speaking seniors who are seeking easily accessible information about voter registration and voter re-registration, in addition to absentee ballot information, ballot propositions and other information regarding the November 8th General Election.

This voter education session will be geared primarily towards Japanese, Korean, and English-speaking seniors who are seeking easily accessible information about voter registration and voter re-registration, in addition to absentee ballot information, ballot propositions and other information regarding the November 8th General Election.

To RSVP for this event please visit the following link: http://tinyurl.com/SBVoterWorkshop You may also RSVP via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone at (213) 617-8596.

“The stakes are at an all-time high for Asian Pacific American communities in the November 2016 elections. CAUSE is proud to work with LTSC and GVJCI to ensure that our senior and limited-English proficient voters have access to the resources they need to make their voices heard this election cycle.” - CAUSE Board Chair Charlie Woo

" GVJCI is excited to work with CAUSE and LTSC in a program targeted toward Asian Pacific American Communities in the South Bay. We are proud to be able to host this workshop in multiple languages to ensure that that our communities have the tools and resources they need this upcoming November election." – GVJCI Program Manager Michelle Yamashiro

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Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan, community-based organization with a mission to advance the political empowerment of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through nonpartisan voter registration and education, community outreach, and leadership development.

For press inquiries, please contact CAUSE via phone at (626) 356-9838 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . General information can be obtained from our website, www.causeusa.org. Our offices are located at 260 S. Los Robles Ave., #115 Pasadena, CA 91101.

The Little Tokyo Service Center, a social service and community economic development agency, has been “helping people and building community” for over 35 years. LTSC provides a wide range of services to the greater Los Angeles community, which include but are not limited to: emergency assistance, counseling & support groups, low-income housing, childcare, information referral, crisis hotlines and much more.

Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute (GVJCI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community center housing various classes, services and programs for seniors, non-senior adults, and youth in the South Bay for over 4o years. Our mission is to serve the needs of the local Japanese American community through educational, cultural, and social programs that share the Japanese and Japanese American cultural heritage.

For more information visit us at jci-gardena.org, email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call us at (310) 324-6611. Our offices are located at 1964 w. 162nd st. Gardena, CA 90247.

 
Grand Opening Ceremony for Long-Awaited Housing Development Durae Senior Apartments to provide affordable housing for Low-Income Seniors in gentrifying Koreatown, Los Angeles

For Immediate Release
Sept 1, 2016

Media Contact: Laura Blosser, Project Manager
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: 213-473-1691

Grand Opening Ceremony for Long-Awaited Housing Development Durae Senior Apartments to provide affordable housing for Low-Income Seniors in gentrifying Koreatown, Los Angeles

Friday, September 9, 2016 – Koreatown, Los Angeles

(Los Angeles, CA) On September 9, 2016 Little Tokyo Service Center and the Korean Resource Center will celebrate the completion of Durae Senior Apartments. Durae Senior Apartments provides 67 units of affordable housing for low-income seniors on two separate sites in the Koreatown/Wilshire neighborhood. 16 of the units are studios, 49 are one-bedroom units, and two one-bedroom manager’s units. The Korean Resource Center will provide culturally specific services for the senior residents, many of whom are monolingual Korean-speaking. The lack of senior specific affordable housing has been one of the main obstacles to dignified lives for low-income seniors particularly as housing prices continue to rise in Los Angeles. The building establishes a new precedent for what can be achieved in gentrifying communities of color in Los Angeles.

“Durae” is a Korean word that roughly describes the ancient agrarian practice of community barn-raising. The spirit of helping one another is apt for Durae Senior Apartments, where it took a village to build this senior affordable housing complex, which was nearly ten years in the making. After surviving the Great Recession, it is now part of the solution to the local housing crisis. Little Tokyo Service Center was able to weather the foreclosure crisis with a two-pronged approach: adding a third development partner and acquiring an additional site, which provided an economy of scale as well as a net increase in the total number of units. Koreatown, historically known for affordable rent-controlled apartments, has been experiencing a wave of gentrification with new luxury apartments under construction in recent years, exacerbating the housing crisis. Durae Senior Apartments received over 3,000 applications in just 17 days. This extreme demand for affordable housing is evidence of the dire importance of increasing housing available, especially for more vulnerable populations like seniors.

All units are affordable for seniors (ages 62 and above) with income ranges from 30% to 50% of the average median income of Los Angeles County. Design of the Durae Crenshaw House building integrates seamlessly with the neighborhood’s mixed zoning by combining a strong façade fronting Crenshaw with a more residential-friendly courtyard at the site’s core. Each apartment building includes secured subterranean parking, a large landscaped central courtyard, on-site laundry facilities and a community room with a kitchen. In addition, a property management office is located on the ground floor. The building has been designed to accommodate seniors at different stages in the aging process with various physical abilities. Individual units have grab bars, are pre-wired for emergency call systems and have no slip surfaces. It is projected that Durae Senior Apartments will exceed California’s Energy Efficiency Standards by over 20%.

In addition to providing high quality housing, the development offers community and social service space to its residents. On-site resident services provided by Korean Resource Center will include social and cultural services for seniors to maintain an active and connected lifestyle and provide any needed referrals to off-site health services. A resident manager will also live on-site to assist residents capable of independent living.

With a total development cost of nearly $26 million, Durae Senior Apartments would not have been possible without numerous funding partners including the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, California Department of Housing and Community Development: Infill Infrastructure Grant, Housing and Community Investment Department of the City of Los Angeles, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, Citi Bank, CRA/LA, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco: Affordable Housing Program, MUFG Union Bank, and the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles. The Housing and Community Investment Department of the City of Los Angeles provided almost $8 million in funding, and Union Bank provided $10 million in tax credit equity investment.

Development Team

Lead Developer: ​Little Tokyo Service Center
Co-Developer: ​Decro Alpha Corporation
Co-Developer & Service Provider: Korean Resource Center
Architect: ​Carde-Ten Architects
General Contractor: ​Walton Construction Services, Inc.

Little Tokyo Service Center, a social service and community economic development agency, has been making positive change for people and places for over 35 years. LTSC provides bilingual social services, preserves the historic Little Tokyo neighborhood, provides a safety net of services for families and is a leader in community development. For more information, please contact Takao Suzuki at (213) 473-1606 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Korean Resource Center was founded in 1983 to empower low-income immigrants, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and people of color communities in Southern California. Using a holistic approach, KRC strives to empower our community by integrating services, education, culture, organizing, and coalition building, all of which seek to improve the life of the individual and the community.


 
Financial Planning Workshops to be Held in Little Tokyo, September 10

For Immediate Release
August 29, 2016

Media Contact: Jessica Kanai, 213-473-3035

Financial Planning Workshops to be Held in Little Tokyo, September 10

A free Individual Consultation session for seniors, their families and caregivers will be held on Saturday, September 10th from 10 am -12:30 pm at Little Tokyo Service Center, 231 E. 3rd St., Suite G-106 Los Angeles, CA, 90013. The workshop series is presented by Little Tokyo Service Center and will assist seniors and their adult children with planning their post retirement lives. The event is free by appointment and open to all residents throughout Los Angeles County. Japanese interpretations will be provided if needed.

LTSC is working with the Foundation for Financial Planning to offer the free one-on-one sessions with professionals from the Financial Planning Association. The individual sessions will cover a wide range of personal finance topics such as budgeting, credit and debt, retirement, taxes, estate planning, small business and more. There is a limited number of 30-minute sessions so please call in advance to reserve an appointment time.

Little Tokyo Service Center is located at 231 E. 3rd St. Suite G-106, Los Angeles, CA 90013. Parking is available in various Little Tokyo parking lots as well as in the surrounding neighborhood.

Pre-registration is required for admission to the seminar. To register, please call LTSC at 213-473-3035.

Little Tokyo Service Center, a social service and community economic development agency, has been making positive change for people and places for over 35 years. LTSC provides bilingual social services, preserves the historic Little Tokyo neighborhood, provides a safety net of services for families and is a leader in community development.

 
Starry Night in Little Tokyo

For Immediate Release
June 29, 2016

Media Contact: Jen Huang, Communications Coordinator
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: 213.473.1612

Starry Night in Little Tokyo

      (Los Angeles, CA)       ​Starry Night in Little Tokyo, the 10th annual Little Tokyo Service Center Sake & Food Tasting event returns to Little Tokyo Friday, July 29 on the Plaza of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.
​      Starry Night in Little Tokyo features tasty bites from some of the southland’s finest restaurants and food providers and an array of sake samplings from more than 40 breweries provided by Mutual Trading Co., Inc. Featured restaurants for 2016 include Maison Akira, Roy’s, Izakaya & Bar Fu-ga, Baldoria, Feast from the East, Blue Star and many more. ​“We wanted to bring the event back to Little Tokyo for another year because it’s our home base, and especially now with active construction of the Regional Connector transit project impacting the area, we want to make sure people know that ‘Little Tokyo is Open for Business,’” explained LTSC Executive Director Dean Matsubayashi. “It’s important that we do all we can to make sure that the small businesses, churches, temples and community organizations that make Little Tokyo the special place that it is, survive the disruption and eventually benefit from the completed transit line.”

      As part of the evening’s festivities, special recognition will be given to Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, U.S. Bank and three longtime Little Tokyo businesses: Bunkado, Fugetsu-do and Rafu Bussan.
      ​Assemblymember Santiago represents the 53rd Assembly District, which includes Little Tokyo. He is a strong advocate for preserving the rich resources of ethnic communities, education and the environment. U.S. Bank is a major financial institution and longtime generous supporter of the work of Little Tokyo Service Center. Special recognition will also be given to 3 longtime Little Tokyo businesses that over the years have contributed to the unique character and cultural life of the community. Featuring an array of things Japanese, Bunkado, celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2016. Fugetsu-do, a traditional Japanese confectionery, is the oldest business in Little Tokyo founded in 1903. Rafu Bussan is the place for essential Japanese household, art and gift items and has served the community for more than 58 years.

      ​Starry Night in Little Tokyo kicks off a weekend of culinary experiences called “Delicious Little Tokyo” from Friday, July 29 until Sunday, July 31, with more than 50 local businesses and organizations participating offering special menu items, discounts, workshops, food tours and more. For more information on Delicious Little Tokyo, www.golittletokyo.com.

​      All proceeds from “Starry Night in Little Tokyo” benefit the Little Tokyo Service Center, a social service and community development organization committed to “positive change for people and places.” LTSC provides culturally sensitive social service programs serving youth to seniors in five different languages. In partnership with local community organizations, LTSC has built more than 1,000 units of affordable housing with on-site supportive services from South Los Angeles to the San Gabriel Valley. Committed to the preservation of Little Tokyo, one of three remaining Japantowns in the nation, LTSC works with Little Tokyo community partners to foster a shared vision of a vibrant, culturally rich and sustainable Little Tokyo community.

​      Tickets for “Starry Night in Little Tokyo” are $100 Pre-Sale and $125 at the Door (Subject to availability). Attendees must be 21 years of age or older. The JACCC Plaza is located at 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, 90012. For more information and to purchase tickets: sake.ltsc.org.

 
Wage Standards for the City of Los Angeles

For Immediate Release
July 7, 2016​​​​​​​​

Media Inquiries:
Calvin Ratana
Thai CDC 323-468-2555
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

July 7, 2016, Los Angeles, CA—Representatives from the Thai Community Development Center (Thai CDC), Chinatown Service Center (CSC), Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA), and Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) came together to announce the outreach plan for the new minimum wage rollout in the City of Los Angeles.

Starting July 1, 2016, the new minimum wage for the City of Los Angeles is $10.50 per hour. This new minimum wage applies to businesses that have 26 or more employees. The minimum wage is part of the planned minimum wage increase that will reach $15.00 by 2020.

“The Thai Community Development Center is pleased to be part of a Citywide effort to educate small businesses particularly Thai businesses about the City’s new wage standards in an effort to help Thai businesses understand the minimum wage and anti-wage theft laws now in effect so that they can be in compliance,” said Chancee Martorell, Executive Director of Thai Community Development Center. “We also want to make ourselves available to answer any questions they may have and resolve any confusion on the new wage standards. By helping them achieve compliance, we protect both businesses and workers.”

The Asian Pacific Islander (API) organizations will work together to provide informational outreach materials to educate businesses in their respective communities. Alongside informational materials, each organization will have programs that will cater to small business owners.

Furthermore, they will connect with community members through business workshops, Entrepreneurship Training Program classes, community events, meetings and one-on-one business counseling.

"SIPA understands how important this project is to make sure that employers are informed about new wage laws. Pilipino business owners need to know how minimum wage laws will impact their businesses and what, if any, adjustments they need to make for the benefit of both employer and employee," stated Dorothy Gamoning, Interim Executive Director of SIPA.

"As a neighborhood-based community development corporation established over 35 years ago, the preservation and continuation of Little Tokyo as a viable, culturally rich community is a priority for Little Tokyo Service Center. A large part of maintaining Little Tokyo a culturally rich community involves having a strong small business economy,” said Takao Suzuki, Director of Community Economic Development of LTSC. “To maintain and help the growth of the small business sector in Little Tokyo, providing information, education and technical assistance in Japanese in a culturally sensitive manner is a priority of ours when conducting workshops and outreach regarding the City's new wage standards. We are excited about the partnership with Thai CDC, CSC, SIPA and the City to make this happen!"

With this outreach plan, the API organizations plan to reach between 80 and 100 businesses and over 1,000 individuals in their communities by the end of the month of July. Individuals can reach out to the API organizations or visit www.wagesla.lacity.org for more information about the new minimum wage law in Los Angeles.

Who:

  • Chanchanit Martorell, Executive Director, Thai Community Development Center
  • Jessica Caloza, Representative, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (invited)
  • Ron Fong, Director, Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program (invited)
  • Peter Ng, Chief Executive Officer, Chinatown Service Center
  • Dorothy Gamoning, Interim Executive Director, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans
  • Takao Suzuki, Director of Community Economic Development, Little Tokyo Service Center
  • Thai Business Owner (invited)
  • Chinese Business Owner (invited)
  • Pilipino Business Owner (invited)
  • Japanese Business Owner (invited)

When:
July 7, 2016
11:00 am: Media Availability
11:15 am: Representatives speak
11:35 am: Question and answer

Where:
Chinatown Service Center
767 N. Hill Street, Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(Parking validation available for press)