2017 Senate Joint Resolution 97
Relating to: the life and public service of Paul H. Kusuda.
Whereas, Paul H. Kusuda was born on October 14, 1922, in Los Angeles, CA, to Masao and Chiteko Kusuda; and
Whereas, Masao and Chiteko were Japanese immigrants who came to the United States in the early 1900s to pursue economic opportunity; and
Whereas, Paul was offered an engineering internship with the federal government in 1941; and
Whereas, the internship was revoked in early 1942, and Paul and his family were sent to Manzanar Relocation Center as a result of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Proclamation of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the internment of Japanese Americans without due process; and
Whereas, Paul's experiences at the Manzanar Relocation Center caused him to switch his career from engineering to social work; and
Whereas, Paul was allowed to leave the Manzanar Relocation Center in 1943 to attend the University of Chicago to study social work; and
Whereas, Paul graduated from the University of Chicago in 1949 with a Masters of Social Work; and
Whereas, Paul worked for the State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections and was chief of the Bureau of Research; and
Whereas, Paul retired as the deputy director of Juvenile Services for the Department of Corrections in 1987; and
Whereas, in 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act, which paid $20,000 to all Japanese Americans interned during World War II; and
Whereas, Paul and his wife, Atsuko, donated their $40,000 in reparations to universities, churches, and nonprofit organizations; and
Whereas, throughout his life, Paul made many trips to classrooms to talk to children about the Manzanar Relocation Center and President Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066; and
Whereas, Paul was a steadfast advocate for refugees, immigrants, underprivileged youth, Asians, the homeless, and the ideal of health care for all; and
Whereas, Paul was the recipient of many awards, including South Central Wisconsin Social Worker of the Year, Special Recognition Award by the American Civil Liberties Union, Dane County Martin Luther King Jr. Recognition Award, Appreciation Award by the Wisconsin Japanese American Citizens League, Asian Wisconzine Editors Award, and The Capital City Hues Appreciation Award; and
Whereas, Paul passed away peacefully on November 10, 2017, at his home in Madison; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the Wisconsin Legislature honors the life and achievements of Paul H. Kusuda and extends condolences to his family and friends; and, be it further
Resolved, That the senate chief clerk shall provide a copy of this resolution to Atsuko Kusuda, Paul's wife of 67 years, and his children Misao Michelfelder, Amy Roh, and James Kusuda.