Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), founded in 1979, provides a comprehensive array of social welfare and community development services to assist low-income individuals and other persons in need; and contributes to community revitalization and cultural preservation in Little Tokyo and among the broader Japanese community in Southern California. As part of its comprehensive community development work in Little Tokyo, LTSC is seeking a Volunteer/Intern to research and develop a neighborhood business inventory to assist in tracking the establishment, operation and displacement of Little Tokyo small businesses over recent years.
Background. Little Tokyo’s origin story centers on the establishment of Kame Restaurant on 1st Street by Hamanosuke “Charles Hama” Shigeta in 1885. Ever since, Little Tokyo has been the commercial and cultural center for Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans in Southern California. As Downtown Los Angeles and adjacent neighborhoods continue to be the epicenter of new private and public investment and development, Little Tokyo’s small business community and cultural identity are at risk.
Project. LTSC seeks an undergraduate (or graduate) student Volunteer/Intern ($2,000 stipend provided) to work a minimum of 8 hours per week researching and building out an up to date small business inventory that can be maintained and easily updated by LTSC staff in the future. The inventory should include all current small businesses located in Little Tokyo and relevant business details, i.e. year established in Little Tokyo, owner name, business address, business type, tenure (rent or own
space), etc. This project will require researching and accessing City of Los Angeles public records housed on the City’s online Council File Management System, contacting the City Clerk’s office, filing Public Records Act Requests with the City (if needed, under LTSC staff direction and supervision), working with other Little Tokyo and/or small business assistance stakeholders to access their files and information, and/or interviewing small business owners and other stakeholders.
Qualifications. Volunteer/Intern should have an interest in ethnic/cultural neighborhood self-determination and empowerment, anti-gentrification and/or larger social welfare issues, as well as strong research, organization and analytical skills, be self-motivated and able to work independently, and have access to their own computer, with Microsoft Office, and internet.
Supervision: Volunteer/Intern will be supervised by Megan Teramoto, Business Counselor at LTSC and will be able to work remotely (not required to come into LTSC’s office) with limited required in-person check-in’s with supervisor.
Start Date: as soon as possible
End Date: upon completion of the project or end of semester (late November/early December 2018), whichever is sooner
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to LTSC’s consultant, Rémy De La Peza (she/her) at email@example.com