Kizuna Speaks Out Against LADWP’s Proposed Solar Energy Generating Station Near Manzanar

The following is a letter written by Craig Ishii, Executive Director of Kizuna, a Los Angeles-based community organization that works to create an empowering culture and environment, to engage and advocate for the community by igniting the passion of young Japanese Americans, and to build a collective identity through multi-generational and multi-ethnic collaborations.


Craig Ishii, Executive Director, Kizuna, spoke
at the 35th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on
April 26, 2008, while he was the Regional
Director, Pacific Southwest District
Japanese American Citizens League.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

December 13, 2013

Ms. Nadia Parker
Environmental Planning and Assessment
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
111 North Hope Street, Room 1044
Los Angeles, California 90012-2607

Dear Ms. Parker:

We at Kizuna strongly oppose the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power proposal to build a 1,200-acre industrial solar installation adjacent to the Manzanar National Historic Site. Kizuna’s mission includes building collective identity through multi-generational and multi-ethnic collaborations; one of our programs that fulfills this mission is our Bridging Communities program, in which a site visit to Manzanar is an important component.

The Manzanar National Historic Site plays an integral part in our Bridging Communities program, the purpose of which is to create awareness, dialogue, and ultimately activism from Japanese American and Muslim American youth through a series of interactive sessions. Our students take a field trip to Manzanar every year to experience firsthand the unforgiving environment that Japanese Americans were incarcerated in during World War II. This experience helps students recognize similarities between the Japanese American experience after Pearl Harbor, and the Muslim American experience in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

The Manzanar National Historic Site and its surrounding environment tell this story of incarceration, in large part because the region remains largely untouched. Visitors, such as our student program participants, to this site can easily appreciate the isolation and despair the families felt upon arriving at Manzanar. The environment and conditions forced upon the incarcerees is an essential part of their story.

Besides standing as a monument to the importance of civil rights and a stark reminder of one of the most egregious violations of civil rights in recent American history, the Manzanar National Historic Site allows for other communities to learn from the Japanese American experience. When those who suffered behind barbed wire can no longer tell their story, these sites will remain as monuments to the importance of civil rights, to America’s failed political leadership, and to the resilience and strength of our nation’s democratic traditions. There is an ongoing need to continue to interpret, to preserve and perhaps most importantly, to protect the integrity of these indispensable places.

For these reasons, we oppose placing a 1,200-acre solar ranch adjacent to the Manzanar NHS.

Sincerely,
Craig Ishii
Executive Director
Kizuna

The views expressed in this story are those of the author, and are not necessarily those of the Manzanar Committee.


Community members are urged to sign an online petition opposing the LADWP proposal. To view/sign the petition on Change.org, click on: Halt LADWP’s Plan To Build A 1,200-Acre Solar Energy Generating Station Adjacent to Manzanar National Historic Site.

To view/download/print a copy of this form letter, click on the image above.
(requires Adobe Reader software)

Community members are also strongly urged to send letters to LADWP in opposition to the Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch. Letters should be addressed to:

Nadia Parker
Environmental Planning and Assessment
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
111 North Hope Street, Room 1044
Los Angeles, California 90012-2607

Comments may also be sent via e-mail, and should be addressed to Ms. Parker at nadia.parker@ladwp.com, or to Charles Holloway, at charles.holloway@ladwp.com.

To download a form letter that can be used, click on the image at right.

All letters and e-mails must be received by LADWP no later than 5:00 PM PST on December 20, 2013.

Those who would like to review the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project can read it on the web at: http://www.ladwp.com/envnotices.

For more information, please call the Manzanar Committee at (323) 662-5102, or send e-mail to info@manzanarcommittee.org.

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17 Responses to Kizuna Speaks Out Against LADWP’s Proposed Solar Energy Generating Station Near Manzanar

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