Japanese Cultural and Community Center-WA (JCCCW) CEO Resigns
Clarence Moriwaki announced Jan. 27 that he is resigning from his role as Chief Executive Officer of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington. “…with your support we’ve accomplished much in the past ten months that I am pleased to have helped play a role,” wrote Moriwaki in an announcement. “From embarking on a $1.2 million restoration and renovation of our Historic Register Buildings and winning a $75,000 grant in the highly competitive Partners in Preservation program, to welcoming hundreds of people to our successful programs and events, I believe that we have charted the JCCCW on a positive course for even greater success.” Moriwaki said he submitted his resignation the week prior, effective February 4, to pursue unexpected new career opportunities. He is seeking the appointment to an unexpected vacancy on the Kitsap County Commission. Former JCCCW Vice President Kirsten Henning resigned from the board and has accepted to serve as Interim Director beginning February 5. “Kirsten is an extremely capable communications professional who is fluent in Japanese,” said Moriwaki. “And she’s already hard at work to ensure a smooth transition.”

The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) Announces Funding to Build Senior Housing on Jackson Street
Runberg Architecture Group is designing the $13 million, 45,000 sq ft. apartment complex featuring 61 studios and one-bedroom units at 2010 South Jackson Street, located in Seattle’s Central Area. The site was purchased in 2010, from the Bank of Washington with the help of a $1.7 million land loan from the City of Seattle and United Way of King County. LIHI develops, owns and operates housing for the benefit of low-income and formerly homeless people in Washington state. Many boomers are faced with fixed or declining incomes and few affordable housing options as they struggle to survive. In addition to the explosion of the senior population, King County has an estimated 1,000 seniors who are homeless and 6,700 seniors already on the waiting list for low-income rental housing. The complex includes common space on the first floor, a library, computer center, communal kitchen, fitness room, classroom, manager’s office and service space. Plans include parking and a “P-Patch” garden for the residents. Construction will start in August and be completed in 2012.

Historic South Downtown Awards $200,000 in Grants to the Chinatown/ID and Pioneer Square Neighborhoods
Historic South Downtown is pleased to announce that it has awarded $200,000 to eight projects throughout the Chinatown/International District and Pioneer Square neighborhoods. Historic South Downtown (formerly Pioneer Square/International District Community Preservation Development Authority) was established in 2007 by the Washington State Legislature to benefit two historically and culturally distinct Seattle neighborhoods affected by the development and operations of professional sports stadiums. Some of the goals of Historic South Downtown are to: protect and preserve the unique character of the two neighborhoods; stimulate and support neighborhood economic activity; and reduce future residential and small-business displacement created by external pressures such as encroaching development, stadium events, and public policy decisions. Fourteen applications requesting $387,500 were reviewed by a panel with representatives from the HSD board and the Chinatown/ID and Pioneer Square neighborhoods. A complete list of grant recipients and award amounts follows.

Chinatown/International District Neighborhood

  • $12,500 to Inter*Im Community Development Association for the I-5/King Street Column Painting project
  • $12,500 to Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience for the “Eat, Shop, Play Year Round: Chinatown/ID Neighborhood Marketing and Education” project
  • $25,000 to Friends of International Children’s Park for renovation of the shelter
  • $25,000 to the Chinatown/International District Business Improvement Area for the Alley Activation project

Pioneer Square Neighborhood

  • $25,000 to the Alliance for Pioneer Square for Promotion & Branding of Pioneer Square
  • $25,000 to the Alliance for Pioneer Square for Main StreetTM Training & Technical Assistance
  • $25,000 to the International Sustainability Institute for the Alley Network Project

Both Neighborhoods

  • $50,000 to Shunpike for the Storefronts Seattle program

Center for Ethical Leadership’s Recipients of the 2011 Bill Grace Leadership Legacy Award
This award identifies and celebrates Puget Sound individuals or groups whose vision, leadership and commitment work to advance the common good in local communities. The Center is particularly interested in celebrating those who recognize the importance of collective leadership, and/or who are often out of the traditional spotlight. This year’s recipients are: Alaric Bien, Executive Director, Chinese Information and Service Center; Paola Maranan, Executive Director, Children’s Alliance; and Judy Pigott, Co-Founder, Personal Safety Nets. The awards will be presented at the 6th Annual Legacy Event, Thursday, March 10, 6:30 – 9 p.m. in the Rainier Room at Seattle Center. Tickets are $55 and include dinner. Tickets must be purchased in advance online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/141887.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Workers Among the Fastest Growing Groups in the Union Workforce
A new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), “Unions and Upward Mobility for Asian American and Pacific Islander Workers,” documents a large wage and benefit advantage for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers in unions, relative to their non-union counterparts. “As a share of the union workforce, only Latinos are growing at a rate faster than Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” said Nicole Woo, Director of Domestic Policy at CEPR and an author of the report. “While this is reflective of workforce trends in general, the data show that joining a union makes a big difference in the wages and benefits of AAPI workers.” The report finds that unionization raises the pay of Asian American and Pacific Islander workers by about $2.50 per hour. AAPI workers are 16 percentage points more likely to have employer-provided health insurance and 22 percentage points more likely to have an employer-provided pension plan than their non-union counterparts. Among the other findings in the study:

  • about one-in-eight (12.5 percent) of Asian American and Pacific Islander workers were in a union or represented by a union at their workplace
  • almost half (48.8 percent) of AAPI workers in unions were women
  • in 2003-2009, on average, two-thirds (67.0 percent) of unionized AAPI workers were immigrants
  • half (50.5 percent) of unionized AAPI workers had a four year college degree or more
  • more than four-in-ten (43.4 percent) unionized Asian American and Pacific Islander workers were in the public sector
  • unionized AAPI workers are heavily concentrated in several states, with about six-of-ten (60.0 percent) in the Pacific states and about four-in-ten (40.5 percent) in California.
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