LTSCene – January 2021 - Little Tokyo Service Center
Little Tokyo Service Center new blue logo

LTSCene Monthly Newsletter

January 2021 Issue

LTSC is kicking off the new year with some good news

After a tumultuous 2020, LTSC is kicking off the new year with some good news about upcoming work and ways you can get involved!

Welcome Maria Cabildo

Maria Cabildo

Maria Cabildo

LTSC is honored to welcome Maria Cabildo to our Board of Directors! Maria is a long-time friend of LTSC and comes to us with a rich career in nonprofit, private, and government sectors working on various affordable housing, homelessness, and racial equity initiatives.

About Maria:

Maria G. Cabildo is a Senior Advisor at Advancement Project California. Before joining Advancement Project California as a Senior Fellow in 2019, she was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. Maria has held positions in the nonprofit, private, and government sectors. She co-founded the East LA Community Corporation in 1995 and served as its president and CEO from 1999-2015. Maria worked in LA county government from 2015-2017, first as Chief of Staff to Supervisor Hilda Solis and later as Director of Homeless Initiatives at the Los Angeles Community Development Commission-now the Los Angeles Community Development Authority. She has served as an appointee on state and local boards, including Los Angeles’ City Planning Commission and the California Housing Partnership board, where she served as its vice-chair. Maria has served on many nonprofit boards of directors, including the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Housing California, Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, and A Community of Friends. She currently serves on the board of directors of Inclusive Action for the City and LA Voice Action.

She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Urban Studies from Columbia University, a master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, and a Certificate in Advanced Environmental Studies from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She is Chicana, born and raised in East Los Angeles.


An Interview with Maria:

You’re no stranger to LTSC and the Little Tokyo community. How were you first introduced to LTSC and how have you stayed connected?

I was first introduced to LTSC a very long time ago. As many folks know, I was Kathy Masaoka’s babysitter! So I learned of LTSC through Kathy. I became more connected to LTSC when I served on the board of SCANPH with Dean Matsubayashi. Later he and I worked very closely to develop the Coalition of Neighborhood CDCs and to organize a response to lenders following the foreclosure crisis of 2008.

You have an impressive career in nonprofit, private and government sectors working on various affordable housing and homeless initiatives. We’re excited to bring your knowledge and expertise to our Board! What are some areas of LTSC’s work that you’re excited to engage with?

All of the work is so important, so it is hard to say one thing is more exciting than the other; however, I am particularly interested in efforts to expand affordable housing opportunities and preserve Little Tokyo’s history, culture, and legacy businesses.

Why is serving on LTSC’s Board of Directors meaningful to you?

I have long admired LTSC’s work, especially its range of programs and services. When I served as ELACC’s Executive Director from 1999-2015, I had the opportunity to work with many LTSC staff.  I admired their camaraderie and collective approach to community development.  In short, it’s an honor to become part of an organization that impacts the lives of so many people and whose values align with my own. Furthermore, Dean Matusabayashi asked me to consider joining the LTSC board several years ago, but the timing wasn’t right. Dean was a very dear friend of mine. I miss his wisdom and friendship. It is meaningful to me to join the Board of Directors and to support the organization that my friend loved so much.

What are some of your favorite Little Tokyo businesses/institutions?

I spent a lot of time in Little Tokyo when I was teenager.  It was one of the few places I could easily visit from my home in East LA.  Many of the businesses I used to enjoy don’t exist anymore. but thank goodness Suehiro and Bunkado are still around. I also love the Chirashi lunch special at Mitsuru Grill on First Street!

New grant alert!New grant will help those with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia

LTSC received a 3-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living to assist informal caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias and support adults living alone with dementia. LTSC will also increase the community’s knowledge about dementia by partnering with Alzheimer’s Los Angeles to provide dementia education programs in various Asian languages. With this generous grant LTSC will be able to reduce the stigma surrounding dementia and improve the quality of life of those with dementia and their caregivers.

Woman caregiver in red sweater smiling next to older gentleman in a plaid shirt.

LTSC received a 3-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living


“In LA County, where there are more Asian American older adults than any other county across the nation, the rapid growth in older adults living with dementia will grow tremendously as will the need for culturally and linguistically appropriate care. The funding and support from the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL) is both timely and meaningful as it expands LTSC’s ability to address those growing needs of dementia care among API older adults and within marginalized communities,” said Margaret Shimada, LTSC Director of Social Services.

Budokan is LEED Gold Certified!
Birds eye view of Terasaki Budokan

In December 2020, Terasaki Budokan received LEED Gold Certification for excellence in water conservation, sustainability and energy efficiency.

In December 2020, Terasaki Budokan received LEED Gold Certification for excellence in water conservation, sustainability and energy efficiency.

“Because we primarily serve youth and families, Budokan is committed to sustainability to ensure that our community is here for generations to come. We want to set an example for the next generation, and being LEED certified is another step towards respecting and preserving our community by leaving a smaller carbon footprint,” said Ryan Lee, Director of Terasaki Budokan.

Project Manager Minako Shirai-Ferrante shared, “We had LEED certification in mind throughout the entire process from the design phase through construction all the way to maintenance and operations. It’s something we prioritized and I’m proud of the accomplishment.”

Some of the green features at Budokan include: stormwater capture planters, drip irrigation, drought-resistant landscaping, energy efficient LED lights and HVAC system, renewable energy solar panels, regionally sourced construction materials, and EV chargers in the parking garage.

As a leader in the Sustainable Little Tokyo initiative, Budokan’s LEED Gold certification is the latest example of LTSC’s commitment to create cultural, economic and environmental sustainability in Little Tokyo. “We’re committed to the larger vision of a sustainable future for our neighborhood.” said Grant Sunoo, Director of Community Building and Engagement.

LTSC is proud to add Terasaki Budokan to its list of recent LEED certified projects dating back to 2013.

Thank you LISC!

LTSC received a generous capacity building grant from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC.) LISC is a longtime partner of LTSC and has helped develop our leadership and capacity to advance our work together.

The current grant will increase LTSC’s work in Little Tokyo with an emphasis on helping the community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. LTSC will help small businesses adapt and survive, enable members of the downtown communities to voice their vision for their neighborhoods and participate in achieving a just economic recovery for everyone.

LTSC would like to thank LISC for their ongoing support, especially during the pandemic.

Be the match. Save a life!

A3M is helping Paul find a match! Paul Goodman, 29, is seeking a life-saving bone marrow match as he battles a recurrence of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Since Paul is biracial, the ideal match would be a donor who is of mixed Japanese and Caucasian ancestry, like Paul, or of similar heritage(s). Specifically, Paul is of Japanese and Jewish ancestry. YOU can help patients like Paul by registering to be a donor!

Paul Goodman

Paul Goodman

A Greener World

'A Greener World' zine cover

‘A Greener World’ Un Mundo Mas Verde

Read the latest publication of our in-house collaborative zine! This issue is filled with art submissions from our residents (stories, recipes, artwork, etc.) stemming from inspiration from their communal garden space at Casa Heiwa. 

“I met Manda late at night. She was picking roses in the Casa Heiwa community garden and said that she had just remembered that it was New Year’s Eve and she wanted to bring some flowers to celebrate the Chinese New Year before midnight. I remembered her from Senior Club meetings, and started talking to her in Mandarin, one of my native languages…”

Creative strategies like this publication have helped our residents stay socially connected and creatively engaged during this time of isolation. Your generous support can help keep programs like this afloat!

 The People Concern logo

Fellow LA nonprofit The People Concern is hiring! 

“The People Concern believes no one should have to live on the street or in a violent household. Our staff, volunteers and those we serve work together to address the effects of homelessness, poverty, mental and physical illness, abuse and addiction. Our programs empower the most vulnerable among us to improve their quality of life – housed, healthy and safe – and become active participants in the community.”

If you are interested, please check out their career page and apply for open positions today!

Support LTSC and Change Lives!

Thank you to all of our wonderful donors, and welcome to all the new donors who joined the LTSC family in 2020.


Our work isn’t possible without you!


Here are some messages we received with recent donations:

  • “Thank you for being there for the community. We all need you more than ever before.”
  • “Congratulations on completing a wonderful facility (Budokan) that will help keep the Japanese American community connected for a long time to come!
  • “Thank you for your dedication during this challenging time — nourishing the soul of Little Tokyo and beyond with your good work.
  • “Thank you for taking care of our seniors!”

December 2020 Donors

Thank you to all our supporters for your contributions last month!
Add your name to the list by making a DONATION today.

Toshie and Syed Ahmed

Aihara & Associates Insurance Services Inc.

Natsuko Akiyama

Nancy Alcaraz

Eiko and Young Amano

Ronald Amate

Mikako and Ali Amini


Dennis Arguelles

Barbara Arita

William Asato

Atsushi Ashizawa

Karoline Bain

Marjorie Berkel

Sandra Berry

Joseph Biderman and Richard Holbrook

John Blackman

Elizabeth Burton

Maria Cabildo

Tomoko and Ty Carter 

Shirley Chami and Daniel Kerson

Audrey Chan

Changes in the Community

Jennifer Chen

Bernice Chu

Consulate General of Japan

Courthouse News Service

Phyllis D’Ambra

Samantha de Castro

Liz Doomey

Rubén Guevara

Chantal Denny

Jeffrey and Lorraine Dohzen

Terrie Doizaki

Edison International

Mark and Sharlene Hirai

Adele Elliott

Everett and Gladys Endow

FIA Insurance Services, Inc.

Robert Fields

Sumi and John Foley

Kaz and Chris Fong

Raymond Fujii

Akemi Fujimoto

Akira and Atsuko Fujimoto

Hiroshi and Misako Fujisaki

June Fukuhara

Masami Fukuhara

Alex Fukui

Linda Fukunaga

Steffi Fukunaga

Paul Jay Fukushima

Regina Furumoto

Sandee Furuta

Joey and Jenny Furutani

Maggie Galle

Michael Golamco

Ana Guevara

Yas Hagihara

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn 4th District

Jeffrey Hamamoto

Geraldine Hamane

Merilynne Quon

Jo Ann Hamasaki and Brian Hamasaki

Masami and Shinko Hanabusa

Michelle Hanabusa

Masako Hane

Chris and Ken Hankawa

Shashi Hanuman

Sharon Harada

Mieko Harrington

Lisa Hasegawa

Mark Hashima

Sande Hashimoto

Cory Hayashi

Dee A. Hayashi

Ken and Colleen Hayashi

Ava Herbrick

Emily Hertzberg

Kerin Higa

Robert and Harriet Hiji

Alison Hino

Marsha Hirano-Nakanishi

Duane and Joy Hirayama

Joyce and Dale Hirayama

Janet Hiroshima

Grace S. Hiura

Miwako Hoshi

Yoko Hozumi

Suzie Hsi

Christine and Denny Huang

Peter Huang

Joy and Ralph Hutter

Brian Ikeda

David and Kathy Ikeda

Kelley and Cliff Ikeda

Douglas Ikemi

Sharon Im-Lee

David Inoue

Brenton Inouye

Yoneo and Yuriko Inouye

Dr. Kenji Irie

Norma Ishigo

Sabrina and Darin Ishimatsu

Seiji and Nell Itahara

Barbara Ito

Leslie Ito and Steve Wong

Paul H. Iwahashi

Bruce Iwasaki and Evelyn Yoshimura

Lori and Pat Kesslak

Hisamori Iwashita

JANM Volunteers

Friends Japanese Women’s Society of Southern California

Gerald Kado

Miyako Kadogawa

Carole Kakita

Alice Kaku

Gregory Kame

Minao Kamegai

Sharon Kamegai Cocita

Toshio Kamei

Ed Kamiyama

Gene and Vickie Kanamori

Cindy and Henry Kato

Jean Kato

Janice Kawagoye

Jane and Harry Kawahara

Rosalyn Kawahira

Dr. and Mrs. Iwao G. Kawakami

Jean and Karl Kawakami

Raymond Kawamoto

Yukio and Lilian Kawaratani

Shin Kawasaki

Marlene Kikuchi

Bang Soon Kim

Helen Kim

Yuka Kimbell

Christine Kimura

Dennis and Lorraine Kimura

Sadao and Faye Kimura

Iku Kiriyama

Keith Kishiyama

Dawn and Alan Kita

Toni and Gary Kitazawa

Steve and Akemi Kayleng Knight

Karen and Frank Kobashi

Jon Kobashigawa and Carol Kawata

Kiku Yamada

Dennis Kobata and Jan Tokumaru

Carolyn Kobayashi

Ryoko Koga

Neil and JoAnn Komai

Kumiko Kondo

Reiko Kondo

Raymond and Noriko Kong

Julie Koning

Thomas Kracauer

Gregory Kubo and Alyson Mizuno-Kubo

Kathleen Kubota

Kubota Mortuary

Jenni Kuida and Tony Osumi

Moet Kurakata

Ford and Frances Kuramoto

Leland Kurisu

Amy Phillips Kushigemachi and Scott Kushigemachi

Masao and Peggy Kushigemachi

Mitsuo and Keiko Kushigemachi

Emily Kuwahara

Vien Le

Kelvin Lee

Laura Shiozaki Lee

Oliver Lee

Phillip Lee

Liferay Foundation

Sharon Lopez

Tim Lounibos

Adelle Lutz

Lori Magallanes

Susan Maki

Kathy and Mark Masaoka

Asao and Kim Masumiya

Morley and Sue Matsuda

Aya Matsudaira

Carol Matsunaga and Steve Ogasa

Dr. Jon and Stephanie Matsunaga

Diana and Yoshi Matsushima

Robert and Teresa Matsushima

Yuhi Matsushita

Jennifer Matsuura

Laraine Matsuyama

Judy Matsuzaki

Tyler McFadden

Microsoft Rewards / Give with Bing

Lorene and Mark Miller

Joyce Miyabe

Amy Miyakawa

Victor and Meriko Miyamoto

Gail and Thomas Miyasaki

Mike and Wendy Miyashima

Emiko Miyoshi

Kyle Mizumoto

Sandie and Dean Mochinaga

Terrie Monaghan and Brian Coleman

Josefina and Michael Monahan

Katsuko Morita

Masaharu Motoyama

MUFG Union Bank

Roy Mukogawa

Nancy and Mark Munekata

Grace Murakami

Michiko Murakami

Yukio Murakawa

Mike Murase and June Hibino

Tak and Grace Murase

Terry Ikeda

In Memory of Tetsuo Murata

Paul Murata

Hiroko Higuchi

Nicole Murph

Eiko Muto

Thomas Nagano

Jeffrey Nagasaki

Tatsuo Nagashima

Nancy Nagayama

Alexander Nakagawa

Roy and Setsuko Nakahara

Ann Nakahira

Timothy Howe

Kiyomi Nakano

Mari Nakano

The Kenichi and Takayo Nakase Family Foundation

David and Lily Nakatani

Takeshi and Patricia Nakayama

Daryl Narimatsu

Kazuhito Naruse

Yoshi Naruse

Eileen Nawa


Carol and Henry Ng

Chikashi and Sayoko Niizawa

Nisei Week Foundation

Jean and Kenneth Nishihara

Gail and Robert Nishinaka

Amy Niwa

Brian Noguchi

Hideko Noriyuki

Sumie Numaguchi

Takashi and Suzuko Oda

Susan Omori

Dianne and Richard Odagawa

Steven and Shirley Ogata

Yoshi Ono

Susan Oka

Sharon Okada

Jeri Okamoto

Mike and Kay Okamoto

Shirley Okayama

Hiroko Okazaki

John Okita and Michiko Yamamoto

Stacey Okutake

Muneaki Okuyama

Fred and Yumiko Ong

Ryan and Denise Onishi

Christopher Ono

Glenn and Lillian Osajima

Ronald Osborne

Janice Osumi

Kaz Ota

Koyu Ota

William Ota

Alan Pabalan

Brian Pagano

PayPal Giving Fund

Kyoko Peters

Justen Quan

Agnes Regeczkey

May Ma and Patrick Ross

Lloyd Kajikawa and Silvina Rubinstein

Yoshiko Sakamoto

Michiko Sakimoto

Tadashi and Geri Sakuma

Kitty Sankey

Emiko Selapack

Senshin Buddhist Women’s Association

Michael and Jill Setsuda

Gail Sharp

Raymond and Sharon Shibata

Janice Shigaki

Diane Shigekawa

Doris Shimabukuro

Haruko Shimabukuro

Margaret and Ken Shimada

Ellen and Alan Shimamoto

Bruce and Diane Shimano

Joyce and Randy Takahashi

Spencer Shimizu

Jane N. Shimotsu

Alan and Jean Shinseki

Barbara Shirota

Kayoshi Shoda


Jane Smith

Kayko Sonoda

Joe Soong

Southland Credit Union

Andrea and John Spolidoro-Marshall

Ken and Lily Sugino

Lisa Sugino and Jay Rosenthal

Walter Sumi

Chiyoko Sunabe

Cooke and Elaine Sunoo

Grant Sunoo and Emily Mayeda

Sushi Gen

Richard and Noriko Suzuki

Scarlet Sy and Eric Olson

Izumi Tachiki and Mark Jones

Kathy and Russell Tagawa

Esther Taira

Kelly and Rintaro Takasu

George Takei

Roy and Judy Takemura

Yuka Takeuchi

Diane Tan and King Cheung

Marie Tan and Gregory Tan, in memory of Chor Chai Tan

Richard and Cathie Tanabe

Arlene Tanaka

Bessie Tanaka

Cathy and Masaru Tanaka

Gail Tanaka

George Tanaka

Mike Tanaka and Jill Ishida

Wes Tanaka

Linda Tanamachi

Michi Tanioka

Kathleen Thurn

Tony Tolbert

Nancy Toyota

Kevin and Sandy Tsujihara

Stuart Tsujimoto

Carole and Howard Tsujimura

Kaz and Cynthia Uemura

Keith Umemoto

Gary Uyekawa

Alden and Teruko Uyemura

Fabiana Velo

Louise Wada

Mariko Wada

Momoyo Walters

Mia Wassink

Karen Watanabe

Marsha and Gary Watanabe

Weingart Foundation

Allyne Winderman and Glenn Wasserman

Gordon Wong

Jackson Wong

Judith Wong

Lesley and Russell Wong

Logan Wong

John Wright

Carole Yamakoshi

Geoffrey and Denise Yamamoto

Karen Yamamoto

Kathleen R. Yamamoto

Patty Yamano

Yamasa Kamaboko Ent. / Frank Kawana

Laura Yamashiro

Richard Yamashita

Sally Yamashita

Linda and Gary Yamauchi

Gary and Akemi Yano

Allison Yasukawa

Carolyn Yatomi

Donald Yee

Catherine Yen

Steven and Candice Yokomizo

Linda Yokoyama

Julie and Terry Yoneda

Margaret Lynn Yonekura, MD

Robbie Yoshikawa

Brett and Susan Yoshimura

Eileen and Dan Yoshimura

Cheryl Yoshioka

Leonard and Marsha Young

Scott Yun and Evelyn Mar

In Honor of Chris Aihara

Lloyd Inui

Gonsaku and Mine Ito Family

In Honor of Daniel and Staci Kent

Craig and Cindy Ogawa

In Honor of Mitch and Mary Kitayama

Janet and Keith Gillespie

In Honor of Tae Kang and Claire Kitayama Kang

Janet and Keith Gillespie

In Honor of Alan Kosaka Family

Robert and LaVerne Cohen

In Honor of Mike Murase

Mark Borenstein

In Honor of Frank & Kaoru Nakamura

Eric Nakamura

In Honor of Stephen Sato

Karen Higashi

In Honor of Tom Sogi

Edward Imwinkelried and Cynthia Clark

In Honor of Andrew Stranahan

David Stranahan

In Honor of Ty Tanioka

Michi Tanioka

In Honor of Yuka Yamamoto

Yoko Naka

Susan Shimazu

In Honor of Fred & Patty Yamano

Craig and Cindy Ogawa

In Memory of May Arakaki

Joyce Chan

Paul Inafuku

Christopher and Jeanne Au Sakuma

In Memory of Luna R. Diel

Johann Diel

In Memory of Hiroshi Isago

Chris and Janet Taga

In Memory of Harumi Kajiyama

Kristine Mizutani

In Memory of Dean Matsubayashi

Reina Fukuda

Noelle Ito

Heidie Joo Burwell

Cindy and Kenji Oda

Kevin Rodin

In Memory of David Y. Miyashita

Marivic A. Miyashita

In Memory of Lillian Nakano

Kay Ochi

In Memory of Mitsue Nishio

Suzy Katsuda

Kay Ochi

Jacqueline Trejo

In Memory of John and Trudy Nishizu

Westmont Corporation

In Memory of Miwako & Henry Nishizu


In Memory of Mr. and Mrs. Hiroshi and Hideko Ota


In Memory of Jeannette Kyoko Sanderson

Emily and Dan Weaver

In Memory of Louise and Jim SooHoo

Paul Ong

In Memory of Miyoko Takagishi

Irene Rowe

In Memory of Tadashi Yoshimura

Armanino LLP

Terasaki Budokan


Akemi Arakaki and Takao Suzuki

Marisa Calice

Rémy De La Peza

Miwa and Gordon Emi

Thomas Espineda

Chris and Ken Hankawa

Janet Hasegawa-Chu and Cliff Chu

Allison Hirata

Melvin Honda

Cynthia Hozaki and Ron Okuda

John and Helen Sun

Hideko Kane

Marlene Kikuchi

Eric Kurimura

Carol Matsui

Don Matsumoto

Mica Miyamoto

Susan Nakaoka

Craig and Cindy Ogawa

Victor Okada and Candace Lao

Sean Okamoto

Yumiko Okazaki

Ali and Erik Olsgaard

John and Irene Ota

Jason and Rachelle Samson

Ellen and Alan Shimamoto

David Shimasaki

Taryn Shimizu

Alan and Jean Shinseki

Sara Tabita

Aaron Takahashi

Marie Tan and Gregory Tan, in memory of Chor Chai Tan

Mucci Taylor

Ray and Estela Uchima

Loana Valencia

Emily and Dan Weaver

Stacie Williams

Frank and Joyce Yada

Valerie and Rodney Yee

Steve Yee and Silvia Yoshimizu-Yee

Brett and Susan Yoshimura

In Honor of the Hon. Akemi Arakaki

Dahni Tsuboi and Pete Manzo

In Honor of Andy K. and Keiko Fukui

Alex Fukui

In Honor of Joyce Mitsuhashi

Justin and Sharon Kurashima

In Honor of Susan Ogawa

Craig and Cindy Ogawa

In Honor of Bill Watanabe

Suzanne and Henry Borenstein Family

The Kenichi and Takayo Nakase Family Foundation

In Memory of May Arakaki

Dahni Tsuboi and Pete Manzo

In Memory of Hisashi and Fudeko Ikeda

Dahni Tsuboi and Pete Manzo

In Memory of Lillian Ito

Alan and Barbara Hamane

In Memory of Aki Komai

Carolyn Komai

Michael Komai

Gail and Thomas Miyasaki

In Memory of Momo Nagano

Dan K Kwong

In Memory of Joe Yamagawa

Taryn Tatara

Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M)

Christine Chang

Korean American Music Academy

Michael Patterson

William and Ida Sugahiro

The Unka Solanki Foundation

In-kind Donations

B & B Toy Maker Inc.

Sharon Lopez

Colleen Seto-Gee and Douglas Gee

Shelter Partnership

Marsha and Gary Watanabe

Accessibility Tools