Nisei Week Parade — an Annual Summer Tradition

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The Nisei Week Foundation is hosting another fun-filled summer event with free cultural activities for all ages. This year marks the 73rd annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival, and highlights include the Grand Parade, making its way through the streets of Little Tokyo on Sunday, Aug. 11, starting at 4 p.m.

The parade will be led by the 2013 grand marshal, Jan Perry, retired Los Angeles city councilmember for the 9th District.

Jan Perry

The procession will start at Central Avenue and head east on Second Street, turning north on San Pedro Street, turning east on First Street, then turning south and ending on Central Avenue.

“Each year the Nisei Week Foundation volunteers work tirelessly to bring this nine-day cultural event with exciting activities for the entire family to the greater Southern California community,” said Steve Inouye, Nisei Week Foundation president. “Jan Perry, who represented the Little Tokyo area for more than a decade, knows how much work goes into this annual downtown L.A. summer tradition. We’re honored to be recognizing her for all of her accomplishments and many years of support of this community.”

The Grand Parade will feature traditional taiko drum performers, local community groups, high schools, representatives from Nagoya, Los Angeles’ sister city in Japan, and the newly crowned 2013 Nisei Week Queen and Court.

Additionally, nebuta floats made of paper and lights will be part of the parade. Students representing L.A.’s Best – an after school enrichment and supervision program for

kidss – will march in the parade carrying special constructed Japanese-style paper kites to

help make this festival a must-see family event.

About Jan Perry

As the representative for the 9th District, which included Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo, and South Los Angeles, Perry was a lightning rod for major changes in the district’s infrastructure. This resulted in quality job development and training, and the development of housing at all income levels.

For this reason, Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Perry to head up the city’s Economic and Workforce Development Department. Perry’s energy, enthusiasm, dedication, and record of accomplishments make her a standout interim general manager of the new department.

Over the past decade, Perry supported major redevelopment projects in downtown Los Angeles that represented more than $15 billion in investment along with $40 million in city tax revenue, and the creation of more than 90,000 full-time jobs. From catalytic developments like LA Live to iconic developments like Our Lady of Angeles Cathedral to major public buildings like the new Police Administrative Building, Perry was at the forefront of ensuring that downtown moved forward to meet its potential as the economic engine for the entire region.

In her new position, Perry leads a department of approximately 175 individuals, some of whom are well entrenched in economic development, charged with brokering city loans and bonds. The department oversees 18 WorkSource Centers that offer specialized training, resume development, job bank, and a number of career development services.

Her success will build on the notion that economic development and employment stimulate growth, a solid tax base, a demand for better housing, goods and services, and better schools, parks and solid neighborhoods. This is the type of community where businesses want to locate. It is the cycle of community improvement rather than community despair.

Looking back on her accomplishments, Perry was all too familiar with the despair of the homeless because high poverty and homelessness made up large swaths of her former council district. She understood that tackling the challenges of homelessness was an essential part of creating a healthy city for everyone. A champion for the homeless, she successfully kept the city’s emergency shelter program open on a year-round basis and was a strong advocate for the development of affordable housing with supportive services to house chronically homeless individuals, many who had been homeless for decades.

The unwavering political will that she exhibited on the issue of housing the homeless resulted in the development of more than 1,000 units of housing with support services on-site, and more were in the pipeline when she left office on June 30.

Perry earned her bachelor’s degree from the USC School of Journalism, cum laude, and her master’s degree from USC in public administration.

For a calendar of events, visit www.NiseiWeek.org or call the Nisei Week Foundation office at (213) 687-7193.

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