Councilman Mike Bonin's Newsletter - Neighborhood Heroes

This is a crazy honor, but first thing I'd say is that there are plenty of heroes in the Sawtelle area and they're not visible. They're behind the scenes making things work better. There's been an ongoing joke by many that I'm the "mayor of Sawtelle" and I've never wanted that title. I'd rather be behind the scenes. Hopefully, I'll get there one day.

Here's what's in the newsletter:

Eric Nakamura is a lot like the Sawtelle Japantown neighborhood he calls home -- dynamic, creative, and proud of his Japanese heritage and the way it has shaped West LA.

Eric is a magazine publisher, gallerist, and entrepreneur. In 1994, at 22 years old, Eric created a print zine which he named “Giant Robot”. Giant Robot is a mix of different sub cultures, including punk music and Asian-American culture, featuring them in the different contexts of history, art, film, music and more. In the process of merging different cultures together, Eric created his own culture. The Giant Robot Store, established in 2001, is often referred to as the birthplace for Asian Pop Culture products. The Gallery features different art exhibitions by notable artists, and the Sawtelle-Japantown institutions are committed to zine art and culture.

Giant Robot has become a staple in Asian American alternative pop culture and Eric’s contributions to making the Sawtelle Japantown and West LA neighborhoods better places to live and enjoy continue.

"As a lifelong westsider, I love the diversity of cultures in our neighborhoods," Eric said.