WHERE ARE THEY NOW? GRACE YOO AND JAN PERRY

TNN supported Jan Perry and Grace Yoo in their recent campaigns to represent our community. Grace ran to represent CD10 but lost to Mark Ridley-Thomas. Jan ran for supervisor of our district but lost to Herb Wesson and Holly Mitchell (who won over Herb).  But both women have lived a dedicated life of accomplished service to our city.  I wanted to follow up with them to see what they were up to and am happy to feature them in this last issue of TNN.

SEPT21Grace3ALLYSHIP: I Got Your Back - GRACE YOO

March 27th of this year will remain forever in my memory because my morning started with friends joining me for my 50th birthday in a march to stand against hatred toward Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community members.

During the march, I was thinking how wonderful it is that I have so many dear friends both AAPI and non-AAPI taking time out to join me for this important rally to stand against these senseless acts of violence.

The ugly episodes of violence against elderly Asian Americans being attacked while simply walking on the street is hard to comprehend, and so it is telling that so many people who had never joined a protest or a rally moved out of their comfort zones to say enough is enough and join this march.

SEPT21Grace1webThe Stop AAPI Hate coalition members comprising of more than 40 local organizations under the leadership of Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON)  and other organizations has counted more than 6,603 reported incidents of hate, jumping from  nearly 3,800 to 6,600, which is an increase of nearly 75% during the months of March 2020 until March 2021. We know that there are many underreported incidents, but still the number of reported incidents of crime are staggering.

As an activist, you can count on me to ally myself with others to join in marches and rallies that support justice and accountability for any group. Last year, I supported many Black Lives Matter marches and protests demanding justice and accountability from elected officials and the police. Transparency and accountability are necessary for society to function equitably and allow people to have hope for a better life.

Allyship to me is friendship in a stronger form. It represents “I have your back.” I have always felt allyship is natural and necessary, because as an Asian American, I have always been in the minority here in the United States. Perhaps if I were a Bruce Lee with amazing martial arts skills, then I might have been more like the Lone Ranger. Actually, I take that back because Bruce Lee, with his impressive and legendary martial arts skills, was a friend and ally to all. And even the Lone Ranger had his trusted friend and fellow crusader Tonto.

SEPT21Grace2webBruce Lee, an American martial arts legend, was a true ally who never turned anyone away from studying with him based on their ethnicity or heritage. A contemporary of Martin Luther King, Jr., Bruce Lee epitomized the hope of King expressed in his iconic “I Have a Dream: speech where King dreamed of a time when people were “treated not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Mind you, Bruce Lee was initially ostracized and shunned by the Chinese American community for teaching Kung Fu to people who were not of Chinese descent.  Allyship is not a road traveled by everyone. It takes understanding and acceptance to support people to be who they wish to be regardless of the differences in the other, to be able to accept and value and respect people with differences. To understand that everyone is worthy of respect regardless of ethnic heritage, sexual orientation or whatever preference or language is spoken.

With the surge of anti-Asian acts of violence across the country, literally killing people for just walking around their home, haters have injured too many, and we need to call on all people to join in protecting others.

We need allyship, in every small town and large city across the nation.  I hope I can count on your allyship to bring about justice and accountability for individuals as well as broader societal changes.  Please step out of your normal routine and comfort zones, and when you have the opportunity, stand up for those who are not able to stand up for themselves.  Your active allyship for others is needed now more than ever.

SEPT21JanTIRELESS, CEASELESS SERVICE - JAN PERRY

Jan Perry is a 30-year public servant for Los Angeles. From 2001 to 2013, Perry served as a Los Angeles City Councilperson in District 9, which includes Downtown, Little Tokyo, and South LA.  Her tenure oversaw projects that dramatically reshaped the Downtown area. Perry also shepherded the development of nearly 6,000 units of supportive housing in her district. Her leadership over a decade brought in $15 million in investment, $40 million in new tax revenue for the City of Los Angeles, and 90,000 full-time jobs.

Perry followed this up by being appointed by former LA Mayor Eric Garcetti  to serve as General Manager of the Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD), leading an agency of 180 employees.  EWDD provides a broad range of programs offering assistance to business, job seekers, and disconnected youth. All of EWDD’s programs are designed to help build local business and strengthen the workforce.


Currently Perry is the Interim Executive Director of Shelter Partnership, Inc., a $2M nonprofit organization that has been at the forefront of Los Angeles’ response to the homeless crisis since 1985. The organization also serves as a leading consultant on homeless programs and policy, supporting entities like the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) as well as local and state government.

Additionally, Perry serves as Executive Director of the Infrastructure Funding Alliance, where she recently led formation of critical union alliances (IBEW, Teamsters) in development of a $300MM Southern California port infrastructure initiative to leverage renewable energy sources and regional distribution strategy for transloading/goods movement, to reduce traffic and emissions while increasing the number of jobs.


















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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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