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Use of Federal Agents in Portland

JACL joins SEARAC, Other AAPI Orgs in Denouncing Use of Federal Agents in Portland 

July 28, 2020

Japanese American Citizens League Executive Director David Inoue said, “We denounce the mobilization of federal agents in Portland, and now other cities, under the false pretense to address urban violence and crime. Our federal agents should not be used as political props to antagonize cities because the president does not like the mayor’s political party. The president is unnecessarily placing the lives of both the officers and civilians at risk through these incursions worthy of the world’s worst dictatorships.”

Read the full statement >

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2020 Census

If you haven’t already, now’s the time to fill out the 2020 census! Census takers will soon start going door-to-door across the country to interview homes that haven’t responded yet. 

Things to know:

Completing the census helps your household and community get its fair share of funding for important government services such as food assistance, maternal healthcare, LGBTQA+ youth programs, and affordable housing. The community makeup information from the census helps enforce anti-discrimination laws like the Voting Rights Act. It also ensures fair representation in government. Oregon stands to gain a Congressional seat as a result of this census.

It’s confidential. It’s your right to participate and when you do, federal law keeps your responses confidential for 72 years.

Be sure to count everyone living at your address on April 1, 2020. The constitution says the census counts everyone living in the United States — that includes young children, undocumented immigrants and their families.

Census links:

Count us in 2020 flyer with information from Asian Americans Advancing Justice

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Sato School in Bethany

Sato Elementary School opened in September 2017. The Bethany community was asked to submit names for the new Beaverton school and the overwhelming choice was to recognize the Japanese American family who began farming in the area in 1926.

Sato School Memorial
Marleen Wallingford, Karen Sato and Ron Iwasaki at the Sato School dedication of the history of the Sato Family placed at the front of the school.

During World War II, the Sato Family was sent to Minidoka. Two sons, Shin and Roy, enlisted. Roy was wounded twice and received the Purple Heart. Shin was also a member of the Japanese American 442 Regimental Combat Team that took part in the heroic battle to save the Texas Battalion that was trapped in the treacherous Vosges Mountains. Nisei soldiers were able to overcome the German defenses. Shin posthumously received the Purple Heart as a result of that battle.

Karen Sato continues to remember her family. Her sister, Lois who passed away in 2013 was the last family member to live on the farm.

When Col. Mike Howard who lives in the area heard the story of the Sato Family, he wanted to make sure the community understood the historical significance of the heroism of Shin and the sacrifice the family suffered. He worked with the school’s principal, Annie Pleau to obtain Beaverton School District’s permission to place the plaque.

I was saddened when I first visited Sato School and there was no memorial. History is a fragile thing and I wanted the kids to know the truth … good and bad, so they can learn from it.

Col. Howard

It was a labor of love for Col. Howard. He grew up living next to the Shimotani Family in Ventura, California. This is where he first heard of the 442 and saw the film, “Go For Broke”. “I was saddened when I first visited Sato School and there was no memorial. History is a fragile thing and I wanted the kids to know the truth … good and bad, so they can learn from it.”

The bronze plaque was produced at a costof $6200. Skanska Construction donated the concrete base and backing at a value of$6200. Bethany Presbyterian Church had donated $3000 but funding still needs to be raised to cover the rest of the cost. The Portland JACL is helping with that effort.