December 2017 Issue

What Will Tax Overhaul Mean for LTSC Clients?

Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol

In recent weeks, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate each passed sweeping tax bills, setting the stage for an overhaul of the federal code. The news raises many questions about how future changes will impact LTSC clients in Little Tokyo and beyond—as well as the organization’s priority issues.

Differences between the two bills must still be hammered out by Congress before a package can become law. Most anticipate the final agreement will be a boon to large corporations and the wealthy.

What the legislation will mean for many of our clients and issues important to LTSC, however, is far less certain. For example, some suggest the legislation could increase costs for lower-income and working-class Americans over time, exacerbate income inequality, disrupt efforts to build affordable housing, leave millions of Americans without health insurance, impact students and commuters and reduce charitable giving. Furthermore, some suggest Congress could seek cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, in order to offset the tax package’s hefy pricetag, which is predicted to grow the federal deficit by over $1 trillion, even with increased economic growth.

LTSC continues to track this issue, due to its important implications.

Budokan Raffle Winners Take Home Toyota Highlander

Debbie and Jason Kazama of West Covina and their children Jax and Akemi

LTSC’s Terasaki Budokan campaign held the public drawing for its Toyota raffle on November 13. This year’s winners of a 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid are Debbie and Jason Kazama of West Covina. “We are ecstatic!” said Debbie. “We appreciate the work that you are doing for the community and look forward to continuing to support your efforts.”

The Toyota vehicle was the second of three cars that Toyota Motors USA donated to Terasaki Budokan’s fundraising campaign, led by Toyota executives Tracey and Mark Doi. With the help of many sports and community organizations, close to 10,000 raffle tickets were sold at $10 each. Nonprofits who sold tickets received $4 from each ticket to be used for their own organization’s activities. “The raffle has been a win-win-win situation because we were able to raise money and build awareness about Terasaki Budokan, and at the same time strengthen relationships with groups that will use the center when it’s built,” said Mike Murase, Budokan Campaign Director.

Tickets for next year’s Toyota Highlander raffle will go on sale in Spring 2018. Please visit the Budokan website in the future for more information.

LTSC Announces New +LAB Artist Residency Program

LTSC was pleased to announce its inaugural +LAB Artist Residency Program. A Call for Entry on the Western States Arts Foundation CAFÉ web site ( www.callforentry.org ) is now active for California-based artists who wish to work within the Little Tokyo community from May 1 through July 30, 2018. Selected artists (including at least one artist from the Little Tokyo community) will collaborate with local arts organizations to create artworks and projects promoting community engagement and creative placemaking strategies around the broad theme of “Community Control and Self-Determination.” The deadline to apply is Jan. 15, 2018, at 10:59 p.m. PST.

Click here for more information.

Blue Shield Grant Helps Domestic Violence Survivors

LTSC received a grant from the Blue Shield of California Foundation to support Kosumosu, LTSC’s transitional housing for survivors of domestic violence. These general operating funds will provide LTSC with the flexibility to leverage new ideas as well as respond to new changes and challenges ahead. This type of unrestricted funding is part of the Blue Shield of California Foundation’s effort to empower domestic violence service providers across the state and enable them to adjust to unexpected difficulties and opportunities.

LTSC wishes to thank the Blue Shield of California Foundation for its support for Kosumosu and women and children living safer lives.

Through the Seasons: More than Just Clutter

Hoarding behavior can damage family relationships, put a person’s safety and health at risk, and even affect neighborhoods. Read more in the Autumn edition of the LTSC Social Services newsletter Through the Seasons (p.5).

LTSC Holds Mixer Event for Volunteers and Staff

LTSC staff and volunteers

In November, LTSC’s Social Services department held a fun mixer event to show appreciation for the organization’s volunteers. Staff and volunteers gathered to participate in activities, learn more about one another and build relationships.

Please Support the APA Toy Drive

This year’s 18th Annual Asian Pacific American Community Holiday Toy Drive and Reception will be held on Thursday, December 7 at the Japanese American National Museum. LTSC will be one of the beneficiaries of the drive, which means the organization will receive donated toys and distribute them to youth in our affordable housing buildings. We encourage you to attend and support this important event.

Please click here for more information on the toy drive.

LTSC Seeks Volunteers for Tax Assistance Program

VITA volunteer orientation

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) season has arrived. VITA is a free tax preparation service for low-to-middle-income taxpayers. LTSC is seeking volunteers for the program.

As a member of our team, you will be serving the population within and around the Little Tokyo community in Downtown LA. Anyone can volunteer. After certifying through a self-test, you can help other people file their tax returns at LTSC, one of the IRS-certified sites for VITA services. The service is provided during tax season–February to April 2018—but orientation and training will start this year. Email yrkim@ltsc.org for more information, or sign up here to get involved right away.

Whole Foods Donates Reusable Bags for Holiday Celebration

Nicole Lopez, LTSC’s Administrative Director of Child Development (left) receives a reusable bag donation from Whole Foods Market DTLA.

LTSC proudly hosts an annual holiday celebration, put on by Navidad en el Barrio, an organization dedicated to distributing Christmas meals in marginalized communities. LTSC’s event, which is sponsored by numerous companies, will be held on Dec. 16 at our Angelina Apartments affordable housing community. LTSC and Navidad en el Barrio will distribute food baskets and toys to participating families.

For this year’s event, Whole Foods Market DTLA donated 100 reusable bags for distributing meals to families.Thank you to Whole Foods for generously supporting our holiday event.

Green Tip

Don’t forget to turn your holiday lights off before you go to sleep. Use a timer that will remember for you.

Donors

Thank you to all our supporters for your contributions last month!

November Donors
Anonymous
Dennis Arguelles
Avalon Bay AVA Little Tokyo
Consulate General of Japan
Yas and Nancy Gohata
Noriko Goto
Kazunori Hattori
Mimi Ho
Takahiro Ide
Jessica Kanai
Raymond Kawamoto
Combined Federal Campaign of Greater SoCal
Michi Lew
Liferay Foundation
Sharon Lopez
Robert and Teresa Matsushima
Kaoru Nakagawa
Erica Namba
Office of Supervisor Hilda L. Solis
Jacqueline Rice
Kayoshi Shoda
Tokiko Sugimoto
Stacey Tanaka
Steven Tani
Keith Umemoto
United Way California Capital Region
Carolyn Wong
Gerald and Anne Yee
Nolan Young
Masayo Young

In Memory of Mr. Noritoshi Kanai
Margaret Narumi

In Memory of John Nishizu
Alan and Sue Endo

In Memory of Jeannette Kyoko Sanderson
Emily and Dan Weaver

Terasaki Budokan
Akemi Arakaki
Laura Blosser and Chris Argyros
Mark and Tracey Doi
Chris Hamabe
Shirley Hibino
Scott Ito and Nan Lee
Kay Kamei
Nanka Kanagawa Kenjin Kai
Anna Kim
Ford and Frances Kuramoto
Gene Matsushita
Mike Murase and June Hibino
Davis Park, Allison Yoh, and Devin Park
Sansei Legacy
Lillian Sugita
Grant Sunoo and Emily Maeda
TIFF Charitable Foundation
James Toma
Lillian Tsukahira
Jill Yoshizawa

Bill and Ruth Watanabe Director’s Office Campaign
Anonymous
Bill and Raissa Choi
Mark and Tracey Doi
Michael Fong
Warren and Lisa Furutani
Gonsaku and Mine Ito Family
Shirley Hibino
Thomas and Eleanor Huang
Lily Ann Inouye
Kay Kamei
Kiyoko Kaneda
Gary Kanemoto
Mary Karatsu
D.K. Kazahaya
Harold and Reiko Kobata
Kathleen Kubota
Dennis and Cindy Kunisaki
Charles and Jean Kuniyoshi
Robert and Teresa Matsushima
Diana and Yoshi Matsushima
Judy Matsuzaki
Paul and Keiko Nakamura
Morris and Susan Nakamura
Lily Nakao
Eileen Nawa
Michael and Margie Odanaka
Oomasa Restaurant
Kaz Ota
Carol Ann Saito
Glenn and Donna Sanada
Jeffrey and Reina Schaffer
Sam and Kuniko Shimoguchi
Martin and Karen Tachiki
Mary Tower
Ken and Sandy Yamashiro
Linda Yokoyama

In Honor of the Ito Family
Lisa Okamoto

In Honor of the Jason and Janice Yamada Family
Margaret and Ken Shimada

In Memory of Seiji Isomoto
JD Hokoyama

In Memory of George Takeo Kasamatsu
Jayne and Gideon Young Family

In Memory of George and June Nakashima
Debra Nakatomi and Bob Miyamoto

In Memory of Jane Nishio
Nancy and Ron Ellison
June Hibino and Mike Murase

Vehicle Donations
Anonymous
Ron and Nancy Furuyama
Naoko Ikeda
Steven Toda

In-kind Donations
Anonymous
Ron and Nancy Furuyama
Naoko Ikeda
Steven Toda