149-unit development vs. Sunrise Shopping Center from the view of customers and businesses
by Cathy Yang
As an Asian American, I am writing to offer my perspective on the proposed Pines at Sunrise Village residential development. A couple of decades ago when my family and I first moved to Sunny Hills, I met a white gentleman living in the neighborhood and he told me a story that when he was living in Sunny Hills back in the 1960s, there was a petition among some of the white neighbors to “stop” an Asian American family from buying a house in the neighborhood because “they weren’t the right kind of people.” He refused to sign the petition, but the story illustrates the racism and discrimination that Asian Americans faced when they first put down their roots here in north Fullerton.
Over the years, Asian Americans have flocked to Fullerton in increasing numbers for its safe neighborhoods, award-winning schools, open space, and recreational opportunities. Today, Asian Americans make up 25% of Fullerton residents and the Sunrise Village shopping center has become the heartbeat and part of the fabric of Asian American life in north Fullerton, with Korean-owned businesses providing healthcare, pet care, tutoring, and dining services for the north Fullerton community, including 38,000 Asian Americans who call Fullerton home. For example, my family and I regularly go to Sunrise Village for dental care at Dr. Kim’s dental office, kid’s after-school activities at Kumon and Elite, and delicious meals at the Dumpling House.
The proposed Pines residential development to replace the Sunrise Village would, without a doubt, destroy a huge part of the thriving Asian American community that has taken decades to build. Further, Asian-owned businesses would be disproportionately harmed, displacing crucial services that many residents have come to rely on, and maiming the Asian American community’s way of life. I understand the need for more housing, and I am not against development. But the need for housing should not and cannot come at the expense at the Asian American community, especially at this time of a global pandemic when Asian Americans everywhere have had to face everything from overt racism to downright hostility and physical and verbal violence simply for being of Asian descent. If our city were to approve the Pines residential project, not only would the decision cripple a major segment of the Asian American community, but it would also send an alarming message that the will, voices, and concerns of Asian Americans are unimportant, and that similar to the past, Asian Americans can simply be ignored, cast aside, and disregarded.
The Fullerton City Council should demonstrate its support for the Asian American community and help it continue to thrive and grow in Fullerton by keeping Sunrise Village and voting NO on the zoning change. If you oppose the Pines zoning change, please sign the petition at www.Change.org/SaveSunriseVillage.
As a numbers person, I will conclude with a set of statistics from Clear Gov on Fullerton, Anaheim, Brea, and La Habra comparing the ratio of Sales Tax vs. Property Tax the City gathers as revenue. From reading the data, I see that it is evident that Fullerton lacks Sale tax compared to our neighboring cities and we need more retail and less housing.