The Unity Council mourns the sudden passing of Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan and the conclusion of over four decades of extraordinary service to Bay Area residents. Supervisor Chan was the first Asian American to be elected to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, first serving from 1995-2000. She was elected to the California State Assembly in 2000 and became the first woman and first Asian American to be Majority Leader.
Supervisor Chan’s consistent commitment to low-income and immigrant families was admirable. Her actions spoke of her dedication to creating a strong safety net for the most vulnerable children and families in Alameda County.
Supervisor Chan was a longtime partner and advocate of The Unity Council, championing our early childhood education programs and affordable housing developments. Her efforts in passing Measure A-1 were crucial to getting Casa Arabella and Casa Sueños (phase ii of the Fruitvale Village) off the ground. Casa Arabella was completed in December 2019, offering 94 homes and support services to families and veterans. Casa Sueños, currently under construction, will offer 181 homes and a permanent space for the non-profit organization Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ).
In 2020, and throughout the pandemic, Supervisor Chan worked in partnership with The Unity Council and Fruitvale leaders to advocate for crisis response systems and funding streams to strengthen the network of community-based organizations that work as an extension of Alameda County to support the communities most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Her leadership allowed local leaders to have a seat at the table and helped amplify the voices of the communities she worked endlessly to support.
Supervisor Chan will be deeply missed by many in the Bay Area. Her countless contributions to Alameda County children and families are her legacy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends, colleagues, and residents of the county.