By MIA NAKAJI MONNIER and NAO NAKANISHI, Rafu Staff Writers
(Published Feb. 4, 2016)
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis recently wrote a letter to Attorney General Kamala Harris to express her concern about the pending sale of Keiro Senior HealthCare’s facilities to Pacifica Companies.
Solis has been supervisor of the county’s 1st District, which includes Little Tokyo, since 2014. Prior to that, she served as U.S. secretary of labor.
The supervisor decided to become involved in the Keiro debate after hearing concerns from local residents. In her letter, she asks Harris to postpone the sale and provide a formal public hearing.
“The services that these facilities provide are invaluable to my constituents’ well-being and the health of the communities in which they are located,” she writes in her Jan. 29 letter to Harris.
The letter also directly addresses the layoffs of Keiro employees that The Rafu Shimpo discussed in a Feb. 3 article. “As a former secretary of labor,” she writes, “I am particularly concerned about the potential impacts of the proposed termination and re-hiring of Keiro employees, who may lose accrued seniority status or even their jobs, further impeding the provision of culturally-sensitive care.”
“Keiro residents deserve transparency, security, and dignity — not to have their fate left to real estate speculation,” she continues. “We can and should do more to protect these elderly residents who have contributed much to our state and asked for little in return.
“I support the efforts of the Ad Hoc Committee to Save Keiro to bring to light the potential impacts of this threatened sale. I urge your office to use all tools at your disposal to protect the residents, the financial supporters, and the employees of Keiro. As a first step, I ask that you please undertake legal action to postpone the sale and require a public hearing to afford residents the opportunity to review and comment on the terms of this sale.”
A court hearing concerning the Keiro sale was scheduled for the morning of Thursday, Feb. 4.