By Gil Asakawa
I’m proud to be on my second stint as the Pacific Citizen’s Editorial Board Chair — I served in the position for two terms in the last decade. I love the P.C. I’m proud of the P.C., and I am happy to be an advocate for it.
That’s why I’m pleased to announce the 2017 P.C. Spring Campaign. During my last term as P.C. Editorial Board chair, the Spring Campaign was started as a way to raise funds to offset National JACL’s budget woes. With your direct support, the P.C. staff was able to purchase much-needed equipment like new computers and professional-quality cameras. The Spring Campaign eventually allowed the P.C. to hire a reporter when the national budget cut the position.
The Spring Campaign funds have become an important part of keeping the Pacific Citizen going. And now, with the added mission of raising the funds to keep printing the paper version of the P.C., the campaign will add to the amount that will be designated from those of you who opt to pay the extra $17 for your membership. That surcharge was approved at the JACL National Convention last summer in Las Vegas, and new memberships and renewals starting January have included the choice to pay the surcharge — and we thank all of you who’ve made that choice!
I want to first publicly thank Tsutomu “Tom” Ige, who contacted the Pacific Citizen and has committed to give the P.C. an extremely generous gift — he’s asked us not to reveal the amount — that gives us a serious head start on the Spring Campaign this year. Tom was a longtime JACL member when he lived in the San Jose area; he now lives in Southern California and has been a nonmember P.C. subscriber. He contacted Steve Okamoto, who coordinates large gifts to JACL, to facilitate his donation.
Tom has given to the P.C. for the Spring Campaign ever since it began. The P.C. staff may use his gift now to underwrite articles and other content. You’ll see his name whenever we thank him for his contribution.
I would love it if you, dear reader, follow Tom Ige’s example and commit to a gift for the Pacific Citizen to help our hard-working staff (which has been working with one editor short since last summer). Make it $20, $100, $200, $1,000 or more. It will not be wasted. It will go toward maintaining the quality coverage of JACL and Asian American issues that have helped you keep up with news that isn’t covered in mainstream media. It’s the kind of journalism that led Tom Ige to get the P.C. as a nonmember subscriber (don’t worry, he’s a lifetime member now), and led Tom to donate to the Spring Campaign every year.
If the Pacific Citizen is as valuable to you as it has been to people like Tom, please consider donating to keep the P.C. healthy for the future. This biennium will be a critical test for the newspaper — the $17 membership renewal surcharge is only approved for two years. By the end of the biennium, we’ll need to have a real, doable plan in place to go as far into the digital realm as possible and cut back on the print editions or find other ways to reduce the cost of the P.C. and still deliver the journalism you’ve come to rely on.
So, we’re building for the future with the gifts you provide for this year’s Spring Campaign. The funds you donate will 100 percent go toward keeping the quality of the P.C. up, but also prepare the P.C. for the next phase of its future.
Please follow Tom’s lead. We thank you. Really.
To donate to the Spring Campaign, fill out the coupon included in this newspaper or give directly on the P.C.’s website at www.pacificcitizen.org.
Gil Asakawa is the chair of the Editorial Board of the Pacific Citizen and the author of “Being Japanese American” (second edition Stone Bridge Press, 2015). He blogs at www.nikkeiview.com.