The event at the Japanese American National Museum was held to commemorate the 70 seniors who were evicted during the pandemic, in particular those who did not survive the relocation, and the extremely high number,134, who died from covid-19 at Kei-Ai La and Kei-Ai South Bay. In 2021 the L.A. Times called Kei-Ai LA, “the deadliest single facility in California.”
Many attendees at the event were family of loved ones who have lived and “transitioned” as residents at the former Keiro Nursing and Retirement Homes facilities now owned by international real estate developer, Pacifica Companies.
(Video replay: https://youtu.be/0OFGhDk8f_Q)
Actor-comedian and star of “The Terror: Infamy” on AMC’s Hulu, Derek Mio acted as emcee and introduced Francine Imai, former Chair of the Sakura Family Council, representing the families who were evicted who stated; “My mom passed way only 4 months after the relocation. I hope and pray that all those who had to endure the concentration camps and much suffering in the early part of their lives are able to enjoy peace and not have to go through this in the twilight of their lives.
A powerful Interfaith candlelight ceremony was organized by Rev. Ray Fukumoto which featured local clergy; Min. Diane Ujiiye, Rinban Noriaki Ito from Higashi Hongwanji Buddhist Church, Rev. Ken Nagata, Rissho-Kosei Kai Buddhist Church and Mr. Geoff Yamamoto from Maryknoll Catholic Church.
Congresswoman Judy Chu Calls for Investigation of Kei-Ai COVID-19 Deaths
During her keynote speech at the “Kansha Obon 3” event, US Congressional Representative Judy Chu, called for a multi-level investigation into the disproportionately high number of COVID-19 deaths at Kei-Ai Los Angeles owned by Pacifica companies.
Chu the Chair of the Congressional Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus, also is a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee’s Health Sub-committee which monitors and pays for all federally subsidized healthcare including nursing homes like Pacifica’s Kei-Ai LA.