Memorandum for Record 25 March 2001
SUBJECT: Summary of JAVA Executive Council Meeting
1. The Executive Council of the Japanese American Veterans' Association (JAVA) convened at Phil Ishio's home at 1000 hours on 24 March 2001. Present were: Phil Ishio, Bert Mizusawa, Grant Ichikawa, Norm Ikari, Yukio Kawamoto, Stan Falk, Cal Ninomiya, Dave Buto. The treasurer, Mike Okusa, was unable to attend -- there was no financial report given.
a. Bert Mizusawa suggested that the JAVA charter and by-laws be carried on the JAVA website. It was decided to defer this recommendation since both need to be studied for possible update.
b. Phil Ishio reported that Min Hara, a JAVA member from New York who passed away in December last year, will be inurned at the Arlington Cemetery columbarium at 10:00 hours on April 9 (Monday). He urged JAVA members to attend if at all possible. Warren Tsuneishi stated that it was customary to provide a wreath, costing no more than $50.00, for all funerals of JAVA members. Phil Ishio will purchase the wreath.
c. Grant Ichikawa reported on the 20X40 ft quilt project undertaken by 8th Graders at a school in Lafayette, Indiana. They were seeking permission to extract portions of the copyrighted JAVA book "American Patriots. Permission was given, and it was suggested that attribution to JAVA be mentioned on the quilt. Stan Falk suggested that JAVA donate the two JAVA books which were already sent to the quilt project and all agreed.
d. Miyako Newell and Harry Tanabe are hosting a luau at Hughesville, MD as part of the celebration of their recent marriage.
e. The date of next membership luncheon is 21 April at Harvest Moon. People interested in attending should contact Grant Ichikawa. Cost is $13 for the buffet. Bina Kiyonaga is the featured speaker.
f. Membership: Cal looking into this. JAVA has 7 non-Nikkei members. The group agreed that whether or not a member is Nikkei does not matter…we will extend membership to anyone interested in promoting the objectives. However, there was some concern about keeping a close eye on the ratio of veterans to non-veterans in the JAVA since there are clear IRS guidelines. Bert made the point that JAVA needs to focus on attracting people, not on things that might discourage them from joining. He suggested that there are creative ways to attract members, such as looking at membership vs membership dues. In other words, one way is to make it free to join, but get donations, including corporate sponsorship. He recommended that JAVA go back and look at why organization exists.
g. Cal agreed to review JAVA documentation, including our mission and come up with recommendations. He will provide his draft ahead of time by email and fax -- Cal, an attorney, will ensure it is kosher. If necessary, he will help revise our charter reflect any needed changes. The sentiment of group was to allow veterans, friends, and supporters of the JAVA cause to be members. Warren will assist Cal. The group agreed the retain non-renewals -- i.e., continue to carry them on our roster as inactive. We can drop them from the rolls if they request. Bert, Cal, Grant, Warren will work together on this.
h. Activities for the year. There will be a big opening of memorial June 29, with a big dinner at the Hyatt Regency next to the memorial. Phil promised to speak to Cherry to find out what JAVA's role in grand opening. Regarding the promotion for the dinner, the Foundation is offering tables for families -- there is the Legacy table for $5,000 and the Patriots table for $2,500. The funds are being raised for an education fund. Someone commented that perhaps some of those funds could be allocated for the Oral History Project. Other orgs are raising funds for similar things. JAVA will consider sponsoring a table and perhaps requesting a price break -- at $100 per person. Cal agreed to talk to Cherry ref getting price break. JAVA should be favorably considered since we donated quite a bit ($15,000+) for the dedication and other activities.
i. The group discussed a proposal: whether or not JAVA agrees that the National Council for AJA Veterans be officially affiliated with the Japanese American National Museum and Center for Preservation of Democracy.
1)The National Council is an umbrella organization in which many veterans' organizations participate. It was established as a Council because it is a loosely organized federation of veterans' orgs. Its purpose is to provide information of interest to various organizations at the national level and to provide assistance for items of national interest -- e.g., reunion and memorial. The National Center for Preservation of Democracy was sponsored by Sen Inouye. The appropriation of $20M was made to establish a national center affiliated with the national museum in L.A. Its purpose is to examine the rights and freedom of all Americans through lessons learned via the Japanese American experience. It will be across from the museum and will provide a wide array of programming, conferences, civic dialogue, using Japanese American history to look at US civil rights issues. The Center will be a long term exhibit of American democracy including the Japanese American experience in WWI, etc.
2) The group agreed that JAVA should retain its autonomy and but lend its support. We should seek reciprocity, i.e., get its support in return for JAVA objectives/efforts. That would help JAVA to play in bigger league. Phil can look at this and bring back information before the decision, which is needed in June. We need to take advantage of the leverage that we have as a veterans' group now that veterans and veterans' issues are in favor.
j. Oral history project. Stan summarized again. See minutes from last Executive Council and General Membership meetings. Stan indicated that, to the best of his knowledge, this project is coordinating with other oral history projects.
3. The group adjourned at approximately 1200 hours.