Dear Editor:

The letter published on May 13, 2023 titled “Questioning J-Town Support for Third Street Boundaries” contained some factual inaccuracies, and as a directly named party of the letter, I would like to correct the record and provide context for your readers:

1) Central City United’s recommendations for the DTLA 2040 community plan were the product of thousands of hours of community outreach with hundreds of community members over the course of 8 years. It was the result of extensive coalition work and collaboration between Skid Row, Little Tokyo, and Chinatown. It is not, as Mr. Naderu suggests, “Sunoo’s plan.”

2) The IX1 designation requires any new housing built within its boundaries to be affordable. This benefits unhoused and formerly unhoused people by giving them access to housing near social services and the entire area by reducing the number of people living on the streets. While there are many important Little Tokyo institutions and businesses south of Third Street, this plan does not establish new boundaries between Little Tokyo and Skid Row, or cede “Little Tokyo’s precious land for Skid Row.” It simply reflects the community’s desire and demand for more affordable housing. 

The area in question is historically significant for BOTH of these communities of color. In the same way that the JA community was shaped by racist land laws and mass incarceration, the origin of Skid Row lies in containment policies, segregation, and red-lining. Our histories and communities overlap and it is possible for institutions such as Terasaki Budokan, Little Tokyo Towers, or JACCC to co-exist with the Skid Row History Museum and Archive, Downtown Women’s Center, or the Hippie Kitchen.

In Little Tokyo, we have fought for the preservation and self-determination of our community for several generations. The CCU People’s Plan offers an opportunity for us to continue that fight in Little Tokyo and support our neighbors and friends in Skid Row as they do the same.

Grant Sunoo

Fourth-generation Rafu Shimpo subscriber

Culver City

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