Change will occur in Little Tokyo: the question is whether that change can be managed so that it inures to the benefit of Asian-American residents, institutions and businesses, and whether it will be environmentally sustainable.
It's clear that we need more truly affordable housing. One way to get it is to build it, but real-estate interests are powerful, and the city makes it all too easy for developers to tear down existing, rent-stabilized buildings to build glass-covered luxury condo towers.
Second, well, look back at what I wrote, above, "I unlocked the door to my office." I unlocked my door, just as I had locked my house on leaving for work, unlocked my car to drive to work and locked it again on arriving.
Critically, building affordable housing units across the city will help create jobs right in the neighborhoods suffering the highest unemployment, helping address the yawning economic and racial divide opened up during the most recent recession.
What made it even more appalling than the subject matter itself -- rat bites in your sleep -- was the calm, conversational tones they used to exchange this information with each other, like comparing restaurants or the easiest places to find parking.
As two recent reports demonstrate, for many LGBT people -- specifically LGBT people of color and elders -- the quest for home routinely comes up against a housing supply that's dilapidated, stretched thin, too expensive and far removed from the cities and neighborhoods we deserve to inhabit.
Before I started working at Bethesda Cares, I had a mental image of what someone "homeless" looks like. Maybe you do, too: I pictured a disheveled old man with scraggly hair and a matted beard, wearing dirty mismatched clothes and probably pushing a shopping cart.
Young families, military families and low-income people who may not make six digits but have good credit are, for all practical purposes, blocked from owning a home by requirements for high credit scores and down-payments.