We learned the tragic news last week that Tom Guarino, a long-time supporter, friend, and advocate of The Unity Council passed away due to Covid-19 on December 30, 2020. Tom was a longtime PG&E employee in the public relations team, and built solid relationships and partnerships with countless businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders. Tom and his team were enthusiastic sponsors of the Fruitvale Día de los Muertos Festival for many years, and he was an ardent supporter of our work in many other ways. Regardless of your title or positions, Tom would give you his phone number and tell you to reach out no matter what.
When we were beginning the construction of Casa Arabella, Tom helped us speed up the herculean effort of getting PG&E to relocate underground cables so that we could begin construction and complete the much-needed affordable housing project on time. Tom knew that getting affordable housing to Oaklanders was of the utmost importance, and he lobbied and rallied to help us get it done. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Tom held weekly “podcast” conversations every Thursday morning to stay connected with the community. Special guests ran the gamut from nonprofit organizations, elected officials, community volunteers, and business leaders. His podcast provided a forum and platform for us to get to know one another, and for him to get to know us. Tom will be deeply missed by many in the Bay Area. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues.