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LTSC’s Post-Election Statement

LTSC’s Board of Directors and Executive Management team are committed to continuing to serve those in need and standing up for our communities. At a post-election community forum held in Little Tokyo on Sunday, November 16, Executive Director Dean Matsubayashi made the following statement:

On behalf of Little Tokyo Service Center, we are here today — as concerned citizens and caring human beings — to take a stand and speak up. Today is not a day to be quiet Americans. Today — and in the days to come — we must express our grave concern about the prospect of a Donald Trump Presidency and the impact it could have on the people and communities we serve. In doing so, we join many others across the country who have exercised their First Amendment rights in the last few days.

While the transfer of power has yet to take place, we already know from his many statements and actions what Donald Trump claims to represent, and what kind of platform and policies he is likely to advance. During the campaign:

  • He promised to build a wall along the Mexican border; and pledged to have 12 million undocumented individuals deported, destroying families and so many lives in the process;
  • He asserted that Muslims must be banned from coming into the country and that a Muslim database should be created. He even considered rounding up aliens in concentration camps, saying that he might have been okay with Japanese and Japanese Americans being incarcerated in camps during World War 2;
  • He plans to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something else. Many of our clients who recently got on insurance will face uncertainty again about whether they can access proper medical care;
  • His list of nominees for the Supreme Court have the potential to dismantle protections for women, LGBTQ community, and other vulnerable communities.
  • He is a climate change denier who is considering doing away with the Environmental Protection Agency;
  • His policies on gun ownership and on war will lead to increased violence both at home and internationally.

And this does not even include the vulgar, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, and misogynistic statements he made during his campaign that are antithetical to LTSC’s vision, values and practice.

While we accept the results of Tuesday’s election, many of us remain shocked and dismayed. But going forward, all of us at LTSC pledge to continue to provide social services and counseling for those in need; advocate for and build much-needed affordable housing for low-income individuals and families; and work with others to maintain Little Tokyo as the historic and cultural center of the Japanese American community.

Beyond Little Tokyo and the Japanese American community, as has been our tradition, we will build collaborations, partnerships and coalitions with people from other communities to fight for social justice and equality for everyone. In the process, if the Trump Administration advances policies and priorities as promised during the campaign, we will stand in solidarity with others and stand up against them.

While the election has revealed a great deal of division in our country, it is our hope to promote and protect a more inclusive America.