It has been quite an honor to serve as the SFVJACL president for the past 15 years...well, it just feels like 15 years! I mean that in a good way. It seems much longer because this chapter is so very active. From special film screenings and plays, monthly movie outings, Manzanar and other field trips, to protests, educational programs and civil rights functions. This chapter does it all! I wish I could take credit for the flurry of activity, but the truth is I have very little to do with any of it. The SFVJACL Board of Directors, many of whom have been around for decades (again, I mean that in a good way!), year after year help develop wonderful programs for our community. They work tirelessly providing new and innovative programs for the San Fernando Valley while also taking leadership roles in the PSW, National JACL and civil rights movement. It has truly been an honor to work with such an amazing and dedicated group of individuals!
Of course, the work of the SFVJACL Board would be for naught if there wasn't involvement from the membership and community as well. Many of you volunteer at our events and attend our functions and provide financial support to this organization so wecan continue doing what we do. I have worked in law enforcement for nearly 30 years and worked with many communities and have never come across a more caring, compassionate and humble group of people anywhere. That is what I love about the JACL and, in particular, the SFVJACL. The people!!
We will be in good hands with Harold Kameya at the helm in 2014. He is a passionate individual with a true commitment for fighting for civil rights of all people. He is very active in following issues locally, nationally and internationally and has shown true leadership in this chapter keeping us true to our mission regarding civil and human rights advocacy. I will be honored to work under his leadership as he brings new ideas and direction to the position of our chapter president.I won't shed a tear since Asian men don't show emotion. Instead, I will smile (and not a smirky smile like I just got out of having to do something) because I know this organization will grow with new ideas while maintaining its rich tradition of programs for our community. I am proud to have been a part of this organization and this community and I am equally excited about what the future holds for us -as an organization, as a community, as civil rights activists.
I wish all of you a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2014!
Brian Moriguchi, President
Editor's Note: Thank you, Brian, for your years of leadership! We're glad you're staying on as program co-chair! Let's all join together to welcome Harold Kameya as he accepts the (virtual) gavel and work together to defend civil rights and social justice in 2014.