Japantown Task Force Supports Peace Plaza Renovation Project

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Japantown Task Force issued the following call to action on Tuesday.

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Our Japantown community urgently needs your help. The $25 million Peace Plaza Renovation Project has been tentatively placed on the 2020 Health and Recovery Bond for voters to approve in November 2020. The Japantown community has waited nearly 20 years for the Peace Plaza to be properly repaired and to create an open space that appropriately reflects the priorities of our residents, community organizations, businesses and visitors.

The City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors will decide in June 2020 which projects will be placed in the final version of the bond. The Peace Plaza is currently included at $25 million, but has already come under attack from other neighborhoods vying for their own projects. Your help is critically important to urge the Board of Supervisors to support the inclusion of the full $25 million for the Peace Plaza Renovation Project.

San Francisco Japantown is one of the last three remaining Japantowns in the United States and this may be our best and only opportunity to realize Japantown’s vision for the plaza.

We need Japantown and wider community to speak out in support of the Peace Plaza project by emailing letters to the Board of Supervisors at: [email protected]

The above email address allows you to send a single email to all 11 members of the Board of Supervisors. A sample letter is attached below, but please feel free to personalize and if applicable, use organizational letterhead.

Please also cc your letter to the following:

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

It is urgent that all letters are emailed no later than Friday, June 12.

For more information, a video and additional supporting documents can be found on the following website: http://PeacePlaza.org

Thank you!

Sandy Mori, JTF Board Chair

Steve Nakajo, JTF Executive Director

Jon Osaki, Co-Chair, Peace Plaza Committee

Richard Hashimoto, Co-Chair, Peace Plaza Committee

Sample Letter: Please copy and paste document in your email to the Board of Supervisors.

(date)

San Francisco Board of Supervisors

City Hall, Room 244

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102

To the Members of the Board of Supervisors:

On behalf of (organization), we urge you to support the $25 million allocation for the Japantown Peace Plaza currently included in the proposed Health and Recovery Bond Measure. The Japantown community has waited nearly 20 years for the space to be properly repaired and to create an open space that appropriately reflects the priorities of our residents, community organizations, businesses and visitors.

As you are aware, the Peace Plaza is the only open space in Japantown and is deeply symbolic of the plight and struggles of San Francisco’s Japanese American community. This project is particularly meaningful for the Japantown community because the Peace Plaza area was once occupied by Japanese American residents and businesses. After being forcibly removed and incarcerated by the military during World War II, the Japanese American community was forced out a second time by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

The eviction of our community resulted in the loss of a staggering amount of wealth for the families and businesses who had no choice but to accept whatever sale price was offered for their property.

While our community does not dwell on the fact that the city forcibly acquired ownership of the area where the Peace Plaza was built, we do feel that San Francisco has a responsibility to take care of the space. We understand that San Francisco has many urgent priorities, but our community is adamant that we have been more than patient and it is time for this city to address this matter.

The residential base of our community may never return to this area and having the means to bring people back is critical to the economy of this neighborhood. Having an open space which addresses the needs and represents the character of Japantown is vital to the long-term sustainability of this community.

We urge you to support the full $25 million current allocated for Peace Plaza in the Health and Recovery bond.

Sincerely,

(name)

(title)

cc:

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

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