Little Tokyo Community Council

Little Tokyo Community Council

The Little Tokyo Community Council (LTCC) is the Little Tokyo community coalition of residents, businesses, and religious, cultural, and community organizations, and other vested stakeholders, speaking with one unified voice to protect, sustain and promote our historic Japantown. From advocating for responsible redevelopment to serving our community during COVID-19, we

Little Tokyo Community Council

The Little Tokyo Community Council (LTCC) is the Little Tokyo community coalition of residents, businesses, and religious, cultural, and community organizations, and other vested stakeholders, speaking with one unified voice to protect, sustain and promote our historic Japantown. From advocating for responsible redevelopment to serving our community during COVID-19, we are proud to represent Little Tokyo's interests. We build community power through organizing and education, and political power through advocacy and engaging with public officials. We collaborate with community partners to address issues impacting Little Tokyo, and create events and programs to support the neighborhood and small businesses.

About the Organization:

The Little Tokyo Community Council (LTCC) is the Little Tokyo community coalition of residents, businesses, and religious, cultural, and community organizations, and other vested stakeholders, speaking with one unified voice to protect, sustain and promote our historic Japantown. From advocating for responsible redevelopment to serving our community during COVID-19, we are proud to represent Little Tokyo's interests. We build community power through organizing and education, and political power through advocacy and engaging with public officials. We collaborate with community partners to address issues impacting Little Tokyo, and create events and programs to support the neighborhood and small businesses.

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

21-25 YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

National • California • Florida • Georgia • Illinois • Iowa • Nevada • New York • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • Texas

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

21-25 YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

National • California • Florida • Georgia • Illinois • Iowa • Nevada • New York • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • Texas

The Issue:

Little Tokyo has been in crisis for the last 15 years due to Regional Connector construction, pressures from adjacent neighborhoods, and gentrification. Property flipping, evictions, and rising rents led to 50+ business closures from 2015-2020. The pandemic exacerbated this crisis in Little Tokyo as an older, Asian/Asian American community with 440 businesses. Nearly 50 businesses have closed since the pandemic started, and its ongoing status plus years of recovery ahead reveals Little Tokyo’s existential crisis. Small businesses in Little Tokyo still deeply struggle due to impacts from the pandemic, with closures continuing, particularly among legacy small businesses. These businesses are owned by older adult Asian/Asian Americans, a population that is disproportionately impacted due to unique challenges including language barriers, technological barriers, and difficulty with adapting and evolving quickly. Business continues to stay far below pre-pandemic levels, with core economic drivers for the community forever altered. With the eviction moratorium over, more businesses are being evicted. Losing our small businesses - in particular the legacy small businesses that are formative to Little Tokyo’s neighborhood and character - is tantamount to losing a core piece of Little Tokyo’s identity. With Metro planning yet another rail line, and the Regional Connector station finally set to open soon, we anticipate the already rampant speculation and hyper-development to escalate both fro the private and public sectors. We see Little Tokyo very much at a crossroads, with threats from all sides to our historic character and community.

The Solution:

Go Little Tokyo (GLT) is LTCC’s community-driven marketing project, using programming, marketing, and partnerships to promote the legacy and history, small businesses, and cultural and community activities of Little Tokyo, and uplift community issues and concerns to the broader community and public. This project was created to mitigate the harm and damage caused by the construction of the Regional Connector rail line and station, which includes not just construction impacts but also gentrification, development, speculation, and other issues that threaten to displace the small businesses, character, and community. The pandemic has exacerbated the crisis, and a marked rise in the closures of small businesses (particularly legacy businesses) has been identified. Losing our small businesses - in particular the legacy small businesses that are formative to Little Tokyo’s neighborhood and character - is tantamount to losing a core piece of Little Tokyo’s identity. The purpose and goal of GLT is to strengthen Little Tokyo and build resiliency in the face of the ongoing pressures of gentrification and external threats to the historic neighborhood. This is achieved through the objectives of targeted business support, community partnerships, education, and engagement. Although GLT has a specific focus on small businesses - who have been identified as the most vulnerable to displacement for the particular way that gentrification impacts Little Tokyo, GLT employs a multi-prong strategy of social media, business organizing, strategic partnerships, events, and other programming to support the entire community and all stakeholders.

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