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The APA Empowerment Series

JACL Seattle's program to encourage civic engagement from college students.

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Every spring the JACL offers scholarships for graduates and undergraduates.

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JACL Mourns the Loss of Kip Tokuda
Written by Administrator
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 20:33
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It is with a heavy, heavy heart that we join the rest of our friends and community in the mourning of our past president, mentor, and friend Kip Tokuda. We are all so devastated and shocked.

As we will never recover from losing such am amazing person, his legacy will live on and the work he dedicated his life to will forever be our inspiration to continue the work for racial, social and economic justice.

There will be a public viewing at Bonney Watson on Capital Hill at 1732 Broadway in Seattle, on Thursday, July 18, 2013, from 2 – 7PM.

A Public Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, July 21, 2013 at 2PM, at 130 Kane Hall, at the University of Washington in Seattle.

We have set up a Facebook Page called “Remembering Kip Tokuda”, and we invite you to send your memories and photos. (

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kip Tokuda Legacy Fund, which is being set up and used to support the causes to which he dedicated his life.

Please see article on Kip's passing from the Northwest Asian Weekly.  The International Examiner will be publishing something about Kip as well.

Kip Tokuda, community activist, passes away at 66
Posted on 15 July 2013.

By Staff
Northwest Asian Weekly

Kip Tokuda

Kip Tokuda, a former four-term state representative from the 37th district and community activist who founded the Asian Community Leadership Foundation, was past president of the JACL, and served on the Mayor’s Seattle 20/20 initiative passed away on July 13. He was 66.

He suffered a heart attack while fishing on Whidbey Island, according to Island County authorities.

“Kip was a respected colleague and mentor during my service in the legislature,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine in a statement. “He devoted his career to improving the lives of our region’s children and families. We have lost a dedicated public servant, a visionary leader and pioneer for the Asian American community, and devoted husband, father, brother, and son.”

“For decades in Seattle and Olympia he was steadfast in his work for racial justice, for the disadvantaged, and for our youth. He was an inspiration and mentor to many in the community, including me,” said Mayor Mike McGinn in a statement. “With his cheerful insistence on doing what was right, he pitched in to guide my transition to Mayor, serve as interim Human Service Department director, develop new Seattle Police Department recruitment policies, and serve on our newly formed Community Police Commission. Seattle was enriched by him, and we will miss him deeply.”

Tokuda was drawn to public service at an early age. Growing up the son of interned Japanese-Americans and the brother of a developmentally delayed sibling, Tokuda began working with Washington families as a social worker with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services following his graduation from the University of Washington with a Master’s of Social Work in 1969.

Before he was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 1993, he was appointed by then Gov. Booth Gardner to be the executive director of the Washington Council for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, leading the effort to develop policies, raise awareness, and advocate on behalf of children and families.

During his time as a state representative, Tokuda was a strong advocate for children, individuals with developmental disabilities, and families. He successfully passed a “Special Needs Adoption” bill to help improve the chances of adoption for special-needs children. He was also a core part of the passing of the “Homeless Children’s Lawsuit” bill, which provided services for over 60,000 homeless families with children in Washington state.

During the 2000 legislative session, Tokuda developed the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program, which provided funding to help teach the history and lessons of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Tokuda’s family was placed in an internment camp in Idaho. Tokuda was born shortly afterwards.

Recently, Tokuda was appointed the interim director of the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department by Mayor McGinn in 2009. He served as interim director until his retirement in 2010. During his retirement, Tokuda focused on improving the Seattle Police Department. He worked with Mayor Mike McGinn’s SPD 20/20 Initiative as well as served on the city’s newly created Community Police Commission. In June of 2012, Tokuda was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan for his work strengthening relations between Japan and the United States.

Tokuda is survived by his wife, Barbara Lui, and his two daughters.

Thank You for Helping JACL Seattle Celebrate 91 Years
Written by Administrator
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 17:53
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Thank You for Helping JACL Seattle Celebrate 91 Years

Thank you from The Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League!  You helped us celebrate our 91st Annual Banquet and Fundraiser on Saturday, April 20, raising funds for the organization’s community programs.

We had over 270 friends join us and you helped us raise over $32,000, including over $10,000 for their scholarship programs and $6,000 to send youth delegates to Washington D.C. in July.

We were also proud to honor our amazing community partners: Jasmit Singh of the Sikh Coalition received the Sam Shoji Unsung Hero Award; Beth Takekawa, executive director of the Wing Luke Museum, received the Community Engagement Award; and Washington United for Marriage, the organization behind Washington’s marriage equality push, received the Special Achievement in Civil Rights Award.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 18:06
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