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CHINESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY RESPONDS TO DEVELOPER
''To Relocate is Demolition...To Relocate is Discrimination''

Phoenix, AZ September 10, 2017: Tenants and the community at the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center on 44th Street near Van Buren are responding to the half-truths and misconceptions put out by the new owners of the property where the Chinese Cultural Center and Garden are located. The Phoenix City Council is slated to consider a Citizen Petition Related to the Chinese Cultural Center on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 2:30 PM. In an attempt to distort the true nature of their actions, True North Companies (The New Owner) put out a press release filled with untruths that are at best less than factual and are designed to portray them as the reasonable party, while all the while they have disrespected the historic and cultural nature of the Center and the people who love it.
The Chinese United Association of Greater Phoenix (CUAGP) deeply regrets the Statement made by True North Companies which makes allegations and interpretations designed to deceive the press and the public. It is important that the record be accurately viewed as both Phoenix and the American people both understand fairness and deserve truth. We can
1. CLAIM OF TRUE NORTH COMPANIES: ''The Cultural Center, built in 1997, has significantly struggled for many years with numerous failed businesses and very low occupancy.''
THE TRUTH: The Center enjoyed high occupancy, rents paid and prospering for many years after it opened in 1997. Only after senior management changed did the vibrancy of the Center change, as well. The new management began to treat the tenants with disdain and disrespect and this created an unwelcoming environment. As a result, tenants took their businesses elsewhere or simply closed altogether. The original anchor supermarket was sold and the new store management operated without issue until it was evicted by True North Companies within the last month. The Market was never late with rent payments and indeed spent many thousands of dollars to improve the property, including a substantial investment in air conditioning. The largest Chinese restaurant in the Center was similarly locked out and denied an opportunity to serve thousands of devoted patrons.
CLAIM ONE FACT CHECK OF TRUE NORTH's PRESS RELEASE:
5 Pinocchio's
2. CLAIM OF TRUE NORTH COMPANIES: The Chinese American community ''abandoned'' the Center.
THE TRUTH: The Chinese American community never ''abandoned'' the Center; moreover there remain several Chinese-related businesses on site and operating today--it is inaccurate and self-serving for the owner to describe the property as permanently closed. Proof of the support amongst the Chinese American community for this historic and culturally important property can be seen on TV newscasts and newspaper articles and social-media outlets worldwide. It is ridiculous and insulting for this venture capitalist to accuse us of abandoning our Center. Time will tell the story of a community that intends to support their history and culture at all cost.
CLAIM TWO FACT CHECK OF TRUE NORTH's PRESS RELEASE:
5 Pinocchio's
3. CLAIM OF TRUE NORTH COMPANIES: That the Chinese Community had considered their ''Offers''and had failed to agree to them.
THE TRUTH: Negotiations between the local Chinese American community had barely begun before the September 6, press release; all the ''Offers''therein are entirely newly devised and do not represent any items previously discussed. It should be noted that all the items listed as ''Offers''were first seen by us in the press release and therefore are news to all of us.
The Chinese American community is still hoping for a win-win-win solution to this important problem. We sit ready to discuss viable options.
CLAIM THREE FACT CHECK OF TRUE NORTH's PRESS RELEASE:
5 Pinocchio's
4. CLAIM OF TRUE NORTH COMPANIES THAT MOVING THE CHINESE CULTURAL CENTER AND GARDEN TO ANOTHER LOCATION WOULD BE A VIABLE SOLUTION.
THE TRUTH: Relocation is Demolition...Relocation is Discrimination.
The United Nations has listed the craftsmanship used in the building of the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Several of the pavilions inside the Garden have also been designated by the United Nations as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity due to being exact replicas of ancient Chinese buildings. The craftsmanship used to design and install the roof tiles and wood timber is of ancient origin. These pieces can't be simply deconstructed like some modern-day Legos set. To take them apart and move them would destroy them, therefore relocation is demolition. It just is not realistic or feasible to expect that such intricate design and workmanship can be moved about at a whim. To suggest so is both naive and disrespectful at the same time.
Also, to suggest that the Garden can be protected but the rest of the property and/or its Chinese relationship can be removed and relocated elsewhere is like a doctor saying we had to amputate your feet and hands but you are still whole. The Garden and the rest of the property were designed as one, the yin and yang make one, but separated neither can be whole. They are inseparable and to think otherwise is fantasy.
Relocation is Discrimination: True North provides relocation to a Phoenix park area as a solution to this problem of historic nature. To even suggest that the answer here is for the Chinese American community to simply move closer to the City is discriminatory in the most obvious of ways. Big Business telling the immigrant community to move to the other side of town is as if to say ''we're got a place appropriate for you,'' and, ''so sorry, but you don't belong here.'' The Chinese American community rejects this whistle call of discrimination by True North Companies and calls on all good and fair-minded individuals to do so as well.
CLAIM FOUR FACT CHECK OF TRUE NORTH's PRESS RELEASE:
5 Pinocchio's
OFFER TO PURCHASE: The Asian American community believes that preserving the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center and Garden is so important to this generation and generations to come that we have offered to purchase the property from True North Companies, allowing them to make a reasonable profit. We are a reasonable people, a people that respects culture and history...a people willing to look for a win win solution to problems, but also a people willing to battle if necessary.
This is a fight between Big Business and History and Culture. We are fighting for every Phoenician and every American who believes that where we come from is an indication of where we are heading and therefore history and culture and how we treat it is a determining factor in where our future and that of our children ends up.
Contact: Phil Gordon, philgordon10@gmail.com; T.Simon(480)758-2863;thomassimon124@gmail.com
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