Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Page 11



Japanese American Bar Association to Honor Fukai, Takei on Feb. 22


The Japanese American Bar Association announced Friday that it will hold its 37th Annual Installation and Awards Gala, titled “New Frontiers,” on Feb. 22 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

The reception begins at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow one hour later.

This year’s keynote speaker is United States Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, and the honorees are Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender Janice Y. Fukai and actor and community activist George Takei.

Hirono was born in Japan and immigrated to Hawaii with her mother and older brother when she was a child. When she was sworn in on Jan. 3, she became Hawaii’s first female senator.

She was previously elected to the U.S. House, making her the first Asian-born member of Congress.

Hirono attended the University of Hawaii before going on to earn her law degree from Georgetown University. She was a state deputy attorney general for Hawaii, and later served two terms as the Hawaii’s lieutenant governor before being elected to represent the state’s second congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006. 

Fukai, the first Asian-American woman to serve as a department head in Los Angeles County, is being honored with JABA’s Public Service Award for her contributions as alternate public defender. She received both her undergraduate and law degrees from USC, after which she served as a law clerk for late Central District of California U.S. District Judge Robert M. Takasugi. In 1980, she joined the public defender’s office, where she served for 13 years.

Actor and community activist George Takei, best known for playing Mr. Sulu on “Star Trek, is being recognized for his contributions to the community and his advocacy for human rights, including significant contributions to raising awareness of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Takei has first-hand knowledge of the issue, having been interned in camps in Arkansas and California as a child.

Then-Pres. Bill Clinton appointed Takei to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, and the Japanese government awarded Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S.-Japanese relations. Takei, who married his husband, Brad Takei, at the Japanese American National Museum in 2008, is also an outspoken activist for marriage equality and LGBT rights.

Individual tickets for the gala are $125. .For further information contact Jeff Ikejiri at, or visit the organization’s website at

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies has announced its 2013 Annual Western Chapters Conference, which will take place in the Presidential Learning Center of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This year’s conference will feature a debate on same-sex marriage between John Eastman, professor of law and community service at Chapman University, and attorney Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.

Other scheduled panels are:

•“Are Vouchers and Charter Schools Viable Alternatives to Public Schools?” moderated by Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Carlos Bea; and

•“Recent Lawsuits Challenging Tenure and Pure-Seniority Based Layoffs,” moderated by Judge Andrew Guilford of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Additional confirmed speakers include Julian Betts, professor of economics at UC San Diego; Clint Bolick, vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute; Bruce Fuller, professor of education and public policy at UC Berkeley; William R. Maurer, executive director of the Institute for Justice Washington Chapter; former California State Senator and Democratic Majority Leader Gloria Romero, now with Democrats for Education Reform; attorney Jeremy Rosen of Horvitz & Levy; and attorney Richard J. Schwab of Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad.

The conference is free to students with pre-registration. For all others the cost is $30 in advance, or $50 for on-site registration.

Four hours of California CLE credit is available for an additional $20.

Registration is available online at Space is limited and advance registration is recommended.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is located at 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley, CA 93065.


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