Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Community Council meeting

When my supervisor informed me about the Little Tokyo Community Council's monthly meeting, I imagined it would be a small meeting among 'professional meeting goers'. Thus, I was surprised to see so many people at the meeting, around 50 I guessed. Lunches were sold on location. So people could buy lunch, eat and drink in the meeting room. Chairs and tables were arranged in square shape. I could not tell which table was for the meeting chairperson and the council board members. Wow, 'community friendly' environment, I thought. If you have never attended this kind of meeting, let me give you a brief description. People discussed about issues that affected the lives and livelihood of the Little Tokyo's community members. They ranged from 'macro' issues such as public safety, to 'micro' ones such as announcement of Obon festival at the temple. There was a Q & A section after each presentation. There was simultaneous English - Japanese interpretation for those who want to hear in Japanese. So everyone can participate. I saw the meeting was a good opportunity for people to know what is going on in the area. It was also a good channel for dialogue between the community and the public agencies. What I found interesting was I saw many young people in the meeting as it was inspiring to see younger generation be active in civic engagement. And I was really curious to know who were purely 'concerned citizens'. Over all, interesting experience for me!