After the “Lil Tokyo Peace Vigil” of June 26, Sam Mori and Mo Nishida met and talked about our feelings/disgust/anger over the sale (again!) of “Keiro Umbrella of Care.” We agreed to meet again after the Lil Tokyo chi gong/tai chi class on Monday, June 29, at the grandfather grapefruit “Tree of Life” in the rock garden of the JACCC.
We exchanged more opinions and solid information and realized, we actually didn’t know much. What we knew was 1) that the “Keiro board and executive management team” was again trying to sell the community asset; 2) that the deputy state attorney general had solicited comments on the sale, in the Japanese language section of The Rafu on Saturday, June 6, with a cutoff date of June 26.
The article said to send comments to a Wendi A. Horwitz, deputy attorney general, at 300 S. Spring St., Ste. 170, L.A., CA 90013 and an email address, email@example.com. With the deadline date of June 26, my previous letter was sent by email to her.
Since we didn’t seem to know much (such as: Was it already a done deal? What were the conditions/criteria for the sale? or What the hell is/was the process?), we decided to go see this lady.
When we passed the screen at the Reagan State Building and went to Room 170, we asked for Ms. Wendi. We were told, “It don’t work like that.” We were told we shoulda had/made an appointment. But, the kind receptionist tried to get a hold of Ms. Wendi anyhow, but couldn’t.
I have to say, we were there before noon, not by much, but definitely before 12 noon.
Since she wasn’t available, we asked if we could leave a message and asked, “How do we make an appointment?” We were given a piece of paper to write on and another leaflet that gave instructions for contacting the “Public Inquiries Unit” of the attorney general.
The address given was P.O. Box 944255, Sac’to, CA 94244-2550, a public state toll-free number, (800) 952-5225, and a number for out-of-state inquiries, (916) 322-3360.
We wrote our notes, objecting to the sale and wanting more info on what the process and criteria were for making a decision to OK the sale or not. At no time were we given instructions or hints on how to make an appointment with Ms. Wendi Horwitz. We left.
I called those numbers and got the usual automated numerical choices (runaround?) and after going through about three tiers and half an hour, said screw it.
What Sam and me want to know is: 1) Is it a done deal or not? 2) How do we get a hold of Ms. Wendi Horwitz, so we and whoever else is interested can get some answers on process and criteria? 3) What kind of muscle, legal backing, do we have to get answers to our questions? 4) Can the state make the board and management hold a series of meetings — we suggest, two in Boiled Heights, two in J-Town and two in Gardena spaced out over a year/half year — so folks will have time to think and gather their thoughts to express themselves?
In my opinion, if the board and executive team (CEO?) can’t live up to and uphold the legacy left to us by men like Fred Wada and Gongoro Nakamura and our unnamed ladies to name a few, who cared and wanted to help care for our people in the future, they should quit! Not sell the puppy.
When the Jewish community sold the Boiled Heights facility to us, they had a backup, a new place out in the valley. Are we going to see another sellout? Can a few beds, a ward, an interpreter or two, take the place of our own community-owned Japanese hospital? Can’t get me to believe that. We got a couple of thousand years of combined history to bring to bear on the questions of health and well-being.
We call on those who think and can act with some pride and don’t want to “bring shame on the family name” by going along silently for the “okey dokey” and in the process bring “disgrace to the race” to join us. We got the right to know.
If you would like, plz. call Sam Mori @ (213) 270-4943 and/or Mo @ (323) 371-4502.
Kokoro kara, Mo (on behalf of Sam ‘n’ Mo)