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JACL Official Candidate Statements

By June 3, 2016June 25th, 2018No Comments

Following are statements from the candidates running for JACL national office; voting will commence at this year’s National Convention in Las Vegas at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.


National President

Gary Mayeda

The JACL has a longstanding history of protecting and serving the Asian American and Pacific Islander community of this great nation. Having served in a volunteer leadership position in many community nonprofit organizations for nearly 40 years, I have a lot to give the national leadership of JACL.

Volunteerism started in high school participating in the student body leadership at Eagle Rock High School in Los Angeles, Calif. As a college student at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), I was on the leadership of three student organizations and founded two of them.

The JACL experience for me was one that emphasized service through leadership. The curiosity started when I attended my first National Board meeting in September of 1990 with Lillian Kimura as president.

Having served on the National board from 1996-2002, I’ve seen first-hand how issues affect districts differently and to be sensitive to them. Serving on nearly every Convention Committee as well as assisting in writing amendments to the National Constitution and Bylaws helped to understand the organization’s inner workings.

In 2011, I served as the National Convention Chair in Hollywood, Calif., where it became the third-highest profitable convention in JACL’s history. This was also the first year that the profit split was not 50/50. National received 60 percent that year.

JACL needs to deal with financial stability and sustainability. Using every tool such as personal partnerships and Pacific Citizen advertisers, we can develop financial relationships with people that need our outreach and historical knowledge of the APA experience. We need our assets to work for us, and we need to coordinate that so that every arm of JACL knows what the other arm is doing.

With my long-term 28-plus years’ active history with JACL, I can honorably serve the JACL for you.

National VP for General Operations

Chip Larouche has withdrawn his nomination for this office.

National VP for Public Affairs

Jeffery Moy

My name is Jeffrey Moy, and I am running for a second term as VP for public affairs. I am currently program manager for the Culture of Health Leaders program at the National Collaborative for Health Equity in Washington, D.C., which examines cross-discipline, collaborative solutions to health inequities facing communities around the country.

My job experience has primarily been in the nonprofit sector managing programmatic initiatives, and I have a Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch College, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Southern California.

As I complete my first term, I am excited at the possibility of continuing to serve the JACL and provide continuity as much of the current board transitions.

Without question, the most challenging issue the JACL faces is our budget. Make no mistake, the current budget deficit presents an extremely serious concern, one that could mean the end of our organization as we know it.

Whoever serves on the next National Board will face the difficult task of ensuring that the organization is able to move forward in a sustainable manner, and that all of us as members are engaged during this difficult time.

We must be realistic about what we can achieve, creative when considering solutions and diligent in ensuring that we have the means to support our staff in the continued fight for social justice.

But with this tough situation comes opportunity. As we consider budget priorities and envision new ways to fund our activities, we should also think about what work truly expresses our values. Instead of continuing to talk about our future, we have a chance to start changing today. I look forward to tackling this challenge with all of you in the hopes of making JACL stronger than ever.

National VP for Planning and Development

Matthew D. Farrells

Thank you for the honor of serving as VP for planning and development during the 2016-18 biennium. It is truly a great pleasure to fulfill this role and lead JACL toward continued prosperity. I owe the success of this term to my fellow colleagues on the JACL National Board members, the dedicated and hardworking staff and to the membership who have given me their trust to serve in this important role.

When I ran for office during the period leading up to the 2016 National Convention, I was committed to three vital initiatives: 1) Continued support of existing grant and scholarship programs, 2) Increased focus on long-term strategic planning and short-term tactical goals and 3) An increased effort on fundraising. Not only were these the platform initiatives I ran on, but more importantly the goals, which will define my term as VP for planning and development. Despite our past accomplishments in these areas, I believe there is always room for improvement. So, as I am preparing to serve the membership in this role, I look forward to continually focusing on and improving our grant and scholarship programming, strategic planning and fundraising efforts as an organization.

In closing, I believe my experience serving on the National Board, working in project management and my business education will greatly aide me in contributing towards the success of the organization during the 2016-18 biennium.

National VP for One Thousand Club, Membership and Services

No Applications Submitted

National Secretary Treasurer

No Applications Submitted

National Youth/Student Chairperson

Kota Mizutani

To Be Like Dorothy

Today, I am incredibly blessed to call the JACL my home community. Since I was in middle school, the JACL has been central to my personal life, academic pursuits and career aspirations in social justice advocacy.

Yet, when I first encountered the JACL in my home of Northern California, I realized that my background did not fit the JACL’s dominant narrative and feared that I would never find a place in the organization.

As a shin-Nikkei whose parents were born and raised in Japan, I am not related to anyone in the community like my peers, and my relatives endured the hardships of World War II in Japan — far from any incarceration camp.

If it were not for the love and wisdom of a compassionate community elder, Dorothy Shimizu, I may have never been inspired to join my local chapter board, attend every JACL National Convention as a delegate since 2010, serve on the National Youth/Student Council or pursue my passion for civil rights advocacy at Brown University.

Dorothy taught me both the power of sharing and discussing the Nikkei experience to fight social injustice as well as the vital importance of inclusivity.

To combat the crisis of declining membership and decreasing youth engagement, I will prioritize inclusivity as NY/SC chairperson. Through new programming and outreach efforts within both the NY/SC and general JACL, I will work to elevate the voices and experiences of shin-Nikkei, mixed-race and AAPI identities that are not always heard.

Such inclusion would allow the JACL to not only engage an expanded community of Nikkeis and other minority groups, but also expand its reputation from “the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States” to include “the most effective and innovative civil rights organization in the United States.”