Warren Furutani

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Warren Furutani is a Los Angeles activist.

Committee to Free Choi Soo Lee activists

Committee to Free Choi Soo Lee activists Jeff Adachi, Peggy Saika, Warren Furutani, Jeff Mori, David Kakishiba, and Mike Suzuki, all Sansei whose families had spent the World War II years in the desolate concentration camps; Grant Din, Peggy Saika’s husband Dr. Art Chen, Susan Lew, Chris Chow, Esther Leong, Derrick Liem, and Sandra Gin, Chinese Americans; and Tom Surh, Gail Whang, Sook Nam Cho, Jai Lee Wong, Min Paek, and Han Yun, Korean Americans.[1]

Commemorative Event for Joseph Ileto and the North Valley Jewish Community Center Victims

August 10, 2009 marks the 10th anniversary of the attack on the North Valley Jewish Community Center on Rinaldi Street and the slaying of U.S. postal worker Joseph Ileto by Buford O. Furrow Jr., a white supremacist that occurred on August 10, 1999.

10th Annual Commemorative Event

WHAT: The plan for this year’s event is to hold a press conference on the actual day of the shooting, August 10th. We will open the remembrance with prayers in memory of Joseph Ileto and then hear from the Ileto family and victims of the NVJCC as they reflect on the past 10 years. Public officials have also been invited to speak and share their thoughts with the families. After the press conference, their will be a discussion around hate crimes in our community lead by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations. This will give the audience an opportunity to see how far we have come and where we need to go.

11:30 – 1:00pm Discussion on hate crimes in our community (lead by Marshall Wong from the Los Angeles County HRC).

WHERE: Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Community Room, 1145 Wilshire Blvd., 1st Floor Los Angeles, CA 90017.

Featured Speakers

Muslim solidarity

Roughly 150 people from the Japanese-American and Muslim communities turned out to the plaza in front of the Japanese American National Museum in a show of solidarity against anti-Muslim hatred and Islamophobia on September 9, 2010.

The peace vigil was sponsored by Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR), the Japanese American Citizens League-Pacific Southwest District, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, in cooperation with the Japanese American National Museum. The vigil was a response to the recent controversies surrounding the planned Islamic center in lower Manhattan and the proposed Koran-burning event in Florida by Pastor Terry Jones.

Speakers drew clear parallels between the experiences of Muslims today and Japanese Americans in the 1940s. Rev. Mark Nakagawa, a Methodist pastor, of the Nikkei Interfaith Group, expressed solidarity with Muslims and reminded the crowd that the Constitution establishes no religion as official.

State Assembly member Warren Furutani encouraged the crowd to interpret the hatred of Muslims as personal attacks on them, and finished with a reminder that the effort for freedom and justice was going to be a protracted one.[3]

Council run endorsements

The Los Angeles County Democratic Party on Sept. 13, 2011, overwhelmingly endorsed Assemblymember Warren Furutani for Los Angeles City Council, District 15.

Not a single vote was received by any of the other candidates in the race.

“Warren Furutani is a great Democrat,” stated Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman. “He has led the fight for quality schools, better job training programs and healthier neighborhoods. The L.A. Democratic Party looks forward to standing up for Warren just as he has stood up for all of us in Los Angeles. We will do everything we can to help elect Warren Furutani to the Los Angeles City Council.”

Furutani will be the only candidate officially endorsed by the Democratic Party in a district where 60 percent of the voters are registered Democrats.

“As a life-long and active Democrat, I am truly honored to have the support of the Democratic Party,” stated Furutani. “With the backing of the grassroots activists, I am confident that our campaign will be able to take on the powerful downtown interests and lobbyists and prevail.”

Furutani, who currently represents the 55th Assembly District, has also been endorsed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, U.S. Reps. Maxine Waters, Karen Bass, Laura Richardson and Judy Chu, Assembly Speaker John Perez, and Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Bernard Parks.[4]

California Asian Pacific Island Legislative Caucus

The California Asian Pacific Island Legislative Caucus formed in January 2001, consisted, in the 2011 - 12 session, of Assembly Members Mike Eng, Paul Fong, Warren Furutani, Mary Hayashi, Ted Lieu, Fiona Ma, Alberto Torrico, and Mariko Yamada and Senators Leland Yee and Carol Liu. State Controller John Chiang and State Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee served as honorary members of the Caucus.[5]

APALA "Rising American Electorate" event

The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance , AFL-CIO, hosted “The Rising American Electorate: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at the Forefront of Political Action,” a briefing and dinner reception, on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, at 6 p.m. at the UCLA Downtown Labor Center, 675 S. Park View St. (at Wilshire Boulevard), Los Angeles.

The event, which recognizes the growth of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and highlights the history of AAPIs in politics, is being held in conjunction with the APALA National Executive Board meeting that is taking place Oct. 6 to 8.
“AAPIs, especially in Los Angeles, have played instrumental roles in electing candidates that support working family and immigrant issues, while running for office as well,” APALA said in a statement. “In Los Angeles alone, AAPIs now number over 1.34 million, and deserve a chance to make their voices heard on key issues, including the budget, jobs, health care, and education.”

Speakers included:

Meeting Maxine

Asian American voters will hold an evening with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) on Thursday, Aug. 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. 2012, at the New Gardena Hotel, 1641 W. Redondo Beach Blvd.

Due to redistricting, Waters now represents the new 43rd Congressional District, which includes Gardena, Torrance, Harbor Gateway, Lomita and Hawthorne. She will give brief remarks and take part in casual conversation and exchange of ideas with her constituents on such topics as jobs, health care, veterans’ issues, Medicare, Social Security, home foreclosures, student loans, safe neighborhoods, quality education, and business development.

Host committee: Assemblymember Warren Furutani, Sam Joo, Traci Kato-Kiriyama, Dennis Kobata, Alison Kochiyama, Dean Matsubayashi, Mike Murase, Erich Nakano, Alan Nishio, Amy Phillips, Jan Tokumaru, Diane Ujiiye.[7]

Honorary Board Asian American Action Fund

Circa 2013, Warren Furutani served on the Honorary Board of the Asian American Action Fund;[8]

Supporting Al Muratsuchi

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi with some of his supporters. From left: Elnie Vannatim, Mike Murase, Muratsuchi, Erich Nakano, Catherine Chuck, Alan Nishio

A reception supporting the re-election of Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) was held Oct. 28 2014, at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo.

Muratsuchi, who was first elected two years ago, is in a tight race against Republican challenger David Hadley, with both sides putting out mailers on a daily basis and airing commercials on TV ahead of the Nov. 4 election. The campaigns have been trading accusations, with Hadley’s side calling Muratsuchi a “job killer” who is “clueless on how businesses create jobs” and “voted to raise our taxes,” and Muratsuchi’s side calling Hadley “just another Tea Party politician who will say or do anything to get elected.”

Henry Ota said that he and other reception co-chairs are “motivated to do all we could to make it possible for him to return to Sacramento … not just because he’s Japanese American … He’s one of the recognized political leaders in Sacramento, recognized by the governor … by the leadership of the Democratic Party … but also recognized, I think, by the people on the other side of the aisle, somebody who understands the issues and deals with the issues in a very positive way.”

The other co-chairs were Catherine Chuck, Kerry Doi, Ernest Doizaki, Warren Furutani, Stephen Gee, Toshio Handa, Thomas Iino, Bill Imada, Kenneth Inouye, Gary Kawaguchi, Alan Nishio, Kanji Sahara and Bill Watanabe. [9]