A planned memorial marker identifying the Venice site from where local Japanese-Americans were sent to internment camps during World War II has received a $5,000 donation from the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
A 9-foot-6-inch-tall obelisk is slated for installation at the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln boulevards to mark the location where more than 1,000 Japanese-American men, women and children living on the Westside of Los Angeles boarded buses to be transported to the Manzanar internment camp, beginning on April 25, 1942.
In its letter of appreciation to the supervisor, the Venice Japanese-American Memorial Marker Committee also thanked Ridley-Thomas for leading the board’s unanimous vote in June 2012 to rescind and revoke the 1942 Board of Supervisors’ approval of Executive Order 9066. In signing the order, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to designate areas in Washington, Oregon and California from which residents could be forcibly removed.
The committee says it has raised over $86,000 to date, well over the initial target of $75,000 which includes the $25,000 independently raised to qualify for the National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites matching 2:1 grant of $50,000.
Unexpectedly high bids, however, have added to the costs of reworking civil engineering drawings, required geotechnical testing and a possible city grading inspection, architectural drawings and structural engineering, the committee says. The group hopes to raise an additional $20,000 to meet its anticipated expenses.
Ridley-Thomas’ name will join other donors of $5,000 or more on the marker, including former Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who contributed $5,000 in April, 2011;  the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program of the U. S. Department of the Interior, and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who donated $5,000 in February.