Georgia on Our Minds

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Nikkei Progressives to Hold Senate Race Fundraiser Dec. 19

Azay is one of the Little Tokyo restaurants participating in the takeout fundraiser. (Photo courtesy Philip Hirose)

The November election is over, but the nation’s eyes are now on Georgia’s two U.S. Senate runoff races.

The Jan. 5 election will decide who controls the Senate, which in turn will determine such things as whether or not legislation providing much-needed relief to the American people will be passed. Nikkei Progressives (NP), a Little Tokyo-based organization, is supporting two nonprofit organizations involved in Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts in Georgia.

“Japanese Americans — like every American — should be concerned about the numerous attempts to deny people of color the vote, especially in the South and in particular, in Georgia,” said Nikkei Progressives member Tony Osumi. From voter roll purges to malfunctioning voting machines, to voters standing in line for up to 11 hours, Georgia is notorious for voter suppression. To support voter turnout and a fair election, Nikkei Progressives is holding a restaurant takeout fundraiser on Dec. 19.

According to Osumi, “Democracy never tasted so good!” The takeout fundraiser includes food from three Little Tokyo restaurants: Azay, Kouraku, and Suehiro.

Each meal contains: (1) a Mago’s Chashu Avocado Burger (with BBQ pork or pan-fried tofu), (2) Hiyashi Chuka Salad — Cold Ramen (with ham or tofu), and (3) Suehiro’s House Special Stir Fried Eggplant and Bell Pepper in Miso Sauce (with chicken or tofu). For dessert, you can purchase “Georgia” Peach Cobbler for an additional $5.

The price is $50 for each meal. 40% of proceeds ($20 per meal) will go directly to two nonpartisan organizations: Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta (AAAJA) and the New Georgia Project. Both are 501(c)(3) nonprofits.

For the Jan. 5 runoff, AAAJA is organizing volunteers for text-banking, phone-banking, voter registration and education, and election protection. The New Georgia Project is registering young new voters and reaching out to rural voters and communities of color. Nikkei Progressives members are text-banking and writing letters with these and other groups.

Due to the pandemic, many of the restaurants in Little Tokyo are suffering financially with some, sadly, having to close their doors permanently. As NP member Carrie Morita stated, “Many of the restaurants have been an integral part of the social and cultural fabric of the community for decades. Our fundraiser will serve two purposes: supporting GOTV efforts in Georgia and helping out some of our Little Tokyo restaurants.”

The main pick-up location on Dec. 19 will be Azay Restaurant at 226 E. First St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 in Little Tokyo. Pick-up times are from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Curbside pick-up is available.

For convenience, there are three additional sites in Culver City, Torrance, and Monterey Park between 4:30-5:30 p.m. for pick-up only.

Place your orders by credit card at https://nikkeiprogressives.square.site/

If you need help or have questions, email [email protected].

Nikkei Progressives is a grassroots, all-volunteer, multi-generational community organization. We care deeply about Little Tokyo and issues of justice and fairness within the Japanese American community and beyond. Visit us on Facebook, Instagram, and at www.nikkeiprogressives.org.

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