Since writing the article that appeared last month (“The Smart Move for Keiro HealthCare Services”), I’ve received phone calls and personal visits from a wide range of individuals who were all very eager to dish up their personal opinions on what they think Keiro should do next.
Those who contacted me were unanimous in their belief that Keiro’s prime mission is to provide an actual facility to house and care for the Nikkei elderly.
When I asked them if they had contacted Keiro board members or staff directly, comments ranged from “No, instead I’m not going to donate to Keiro anymore” and “What’s the board and the executives going to do with all the cash?” to “Since we can’t count on Keiro being around, I guess I need to make other plans for my future.” The “shikata ga nai” sentiment predominated.
Of course, those comments only represent a very small sampling of the community composed of Nisei and Sansei located in the South Bay, Little Tokyo and the Eastside. In my weekly trips throughout the community, stopping at Marukai, church, basketball games and the gym, Keiro has been the topic of conversation.
However, I’d suggest that instead of dealing with the angst and uncertainty that’s been created by the pending sale of the Keiro facilities, it might be more helpful and constructive to open up the discussion by running a poll and finding out what YOU think about the current plan.
Knowing that many within our community still do not speak up and prefer not to engage in direct dialogue and avoid confrontation, you now have a “last chance” to speak up and let your opinion be heard.
So, here’s your time to vote! Check one of the two:
_____ KEIRO SENIOR HEALTHCARE SERVICES SHOULD BUILD A NEW, STATE-OF-THE ART SENIOR HOUSING COMPLEX FOR NIKKEI IN THE SOUTH BAY AND ORANGE COUNTY.
_____ KEIRO SENIOR HEALTHCARE SERVICES SHOULD EXIT THE SENIOR HOUSING BUSINESS AND INSTEAD CREATE EDUCATIONAL HEALTHCARE PROGRAMS FOR THE NIKKEI COMMUNITY.
For our older readers who don’t use the Internet, mail or fax your response to me at Kaji & Associates, 18527 S. Western Ave. #15, Gardena, CA 90248. Fax (310) 327-7898. Via email: email@example.com.
We will compile the responses and the results will be presented to the Keiro Board of Directors. I may also excerpt some of those comments in this column.
And, to those who buttonholed me over the past week, while I appreciate your candid opinions and “monku,” remember the saying, “Don’t shoot the messenger!”
Jonathan Kaji is president of Kaji & Associates, a real estate firm based in Torrance. He served as the director of the State of California Office of Trade and Investment in Tokyo (1993-1999) and serves as a member of the Board of Governors for the Japanese American National Museum and the Little Tokyo Service Center. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.