Editors Note: We recieved this e-mail from Linda Jofuku of the Japantown Task Force.
For those of you who have signed our petition, "Thank you!" Please note the attached press advisory. You are welcome to attend. We would like to have as many people as possible attend the SF Redevelopment Agency hearing on June 7th, 4pm, City Hall Room 416 to show our solidarity.
Japantown was decimated with the incarceration of Japanese Americans in America's concentration camps during World War II. We returned to rebuild our lives, homes and businesses. Then, the SF Redevelopment Agency "bulldozed" our homes, businesses...community in the 60s and 70s. There are only 3 Japantowns left in the entire nation. San Francisco is blessed to have one.
Despite our conscious efforts to work with the SF Redevelopment Agency to preserve and revitalize Japantown, they continue to disrespect our community's concerns and wishes. Our community stated clearly back in 2002 that, "We did not want a Burger King or a Starbucks in Japantown because it would not fit into the character of Japantown and it would compete with existing Mom and Pop businesses."
We are tired of outsiders trying to shove their ideology down our throats...telling us what is best for us. We have a voice and we speak for ourselves. Our collective voice says, "No Starbucks in San Francisco's Japantown!"...and, San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, "Share information prior to making decisions that affect the community. Don't pretend to work with us. Don't ignore us. Roll-up your sleeves and work hand-in-hand with us to preserve what we have left."
For those of you who have heard us, "Thank you." For those of you who have respected our wishes, "Thanks for doing the right thing."
Stop starbucks From coming to Japantown!
What: PRESS CONFERENCE
When: June 6, 2005
Where: Cafe Hana
San Francisco's Japantown
1737 Post St., Suite #2
San Francisco, CA 94115
The Japantown Task Force, Inc. and District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi will be holding a press conference to address the agreement made to bring the coffee giant Starbucks to the much disputed 1600 Webster Street site (former Japantown Bowl). The agreement was made between the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, Anasazi Properties and Starbucks. The Japantown community opposes the opening of Starbucks and will be addressing concerns regarding its relationship with the Redevelopment Agency.
The Japantown Task Force, Inc. is a non-profit community development, planning and preservation organization dedicated to preserving one of three remaining Japantowns left in the entire U.S. (San Francisco's Japantown)
Ross Mirkarimi, District 5 Supervisor
Linda Jofuku, Executive Director, Japantown Task Force, Inc.
Carol Murata, Owner, Cafe Hana
Bobby Okamura, Owner, Benkyo-do
Marcia Rosen, Director, San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (invited)
Chris Hirano, member, Western Addition Citizen's Advisory Committee (CAC) and Director of Community Development, JCCCNC
Rich Hashimoto, President, Japantown Merchant's Association
Mary Rogers, member, Western Addition CAC
Reverend Arnold Townsend, member, Western Addition CAC
Leslie Meyers, Community Relations Consultant, Starbucks (invited)
Tak Onishi, President, Issui Kai
Stuart Scheinholtz, Executive Vice President, Anasazi Properties, Inc. (invited)
Steve Doi, Japantown Task Force, Inc. Advisory Board and Chan, Doi & Leal, LLC, Attorneys at Law
Page Two * Press Conference * "Stop Starbucks From Coming to Japantown!"
The lease agreement between Starbucks and Anasazi Properties will be heard at the June 7, 4 pm Redevelopment Agency Commission meeting at City Hall, Room 416. All interested individuals are encouraged to attend.