Statement from Sherry Hirota, CEO, Asian Health Services: “Supervisor Wilma Chan was the personification of leadership, courage, and impact without ego. Her tenacity and humane values were the constants that were woven through all she touched — her relationships, her legislation, and her initiatives. She was our champion — yes she valiantly represented our AAPI community but also all communities of color and vulnerable people. And with all her heart and soul: she fought for community health centers, health care for all, and she advocated so effectively for children, and access to healthy food. She did not hesitate for even a second when called upon to stand up for and with controversial or unpopular issues, be they immigrant rights or language and cultural access, and so much more. It will take some time to even process this great loss to our collective community in the East Bay. Supervisor Wilma Chan’s legacy as a stateswoman and pioneer will be felt for generations to come. We offer our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the Supervisor’s family.”
A vigil was held in honor of Supervisor Wilma Chan on November 4, 2021, in front of the Supervisor’s office. Mourners came together to remember the impact that Supervisor Chan has had on the community through her tireless advocacy work as a public servant. Asian Health Service’s CEO Sherry Hirota spoke first, saying, “Yesterday we were all in shock… Wilma has just been an incredible leader. She is about the most humble leader and politician that we know, and she took her life—her very honed skills and political savvy—and brought it to bear on behalf of all of our communities. And while the Asian community likes to claim her as our own, she has stepped up for every community. Every community of color, every underserved and vulnerable population, and helped us all come together for the things that we knew we had to do to make Alameda County the best county ever.” Following Sherry’s statements, Jane Garcia from La Clinica De La Raza remembered her as a “quiet storm” and Martin Waukazoo, CEO of Native American Health Center, noted that “she walked on this earth in a humble way. She didn’t want the spotlight. She didn’t want the headlines. She just wanted to do the right thing. She’ll be missed… there’s an emptiness in my heart. We’ve lost an incredible warrior.” After these planned statements, the mic was opened for other community members to speak a few words to honor Supervisor Chan. Many people who spoke mentioned how if it weren’t for Supervisor Chan’s work, they would not be where they are today—a testament to Supervisor Chan’s unforgettable and wide-reaching influence.
To watch coverage of this event, please visit: https://www.ktvu.com/video/998191