The drive to increase profit margins with total disregard for Japanese American and Japanese seniors at the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility as well as the original sale of the former Keiro Nursing and Retirement Homes to international developer, Pacifica Companies, should not be seen as something separate from what is happening in Boyle Heights with respect to gentrification and displacement pressures already underway.
In 2017, just up the street from Sakura ICF at 325 S. Boyle Ave., a new developer was attempting to force out Mariachis residing at 1815 East 2nd Street. The Mariachis and other renters had to initiate a Rent Strike to fight the exhorbitant rent increases and to stay in their homes.
Similar to how Japanese Americans have faced being repeatedly driven from their communities, including from Little Tokyo in WWII, and then again during the 1980s and more recently at 800 Traction Ave. in East Little Tokyo (also in 2017), Pacifica Companies seeks to accelerate this trend today in Boyle Heights. Please join the families of Sakura ICF and Save Our Seniors Network on Saturday, May 1 at 2pm to fight evictions at Sakura ICF!
By uniting the community to preserve the cultural legacy of mariachis and the the actual homes of the mariachis themselves, Boyle Heights were able to successfully defend their community.
Let’s hope we can build the solidarity necessary to do the same for residents at Sakura ICF!