I have attended some meetings in Little Tokyo where Grant Sunoo presented recommendations of the Little Tokyo Service Center and Central City United on the City of L.A.’s 2040 Community Plan. I was dismayed to see that Sunoo’s plan includes a recommendation to expand the current northern boundary of Skid Row from Fifth Street all the way to Third Street, and even already refers to Third Street as Skid Row.
This is Little Tokyo! There is a professional building, Little Tokyo Towers, Higashi Honganji Temple, Union Church, Centenary, Tokyo Villa, Teramachi, Little Tokyo Galleria, the Budokan and Japanese American Cultural & Community Center all on or a few feet north of Third Street.
When I checked out Central City United’s website, I was shocked to see the enclosed June 15, 2021 letter signed by many Little Tokyo entities, including JACCC, East West Players, Little Tokyo Historical Society, Nikkei Progressives, Sustainable Little Tokyo, J-Town Action and Solidarity, and Visual Communications. Did these signers even read the plan they endorsed? Or did they not mind ceding Third Street to Skid Row by encouraging the city to take away more of Little Tokyo’s precious land for Skid Row IX1 designation?
I know the City Council is currently in the process of hearing testimony and reviewing the 2040 Plan. I hope it does not approve this proposal.