Over the past decade, we got to know and work with Supervisor Wilma Chan. People go into politics for many reasons – some selfish, some selfless. With Wilma, it was always about the people she was elected to serve.
Poverty, health care, food insecurity, childcare…she championed issues, policies, and built community-wide efforts to improve people’s lives.
When the Affordable Care Act was threatened, she held events at community clinics to highlight the importance of affordable and accessible health care.
When a law to protect animals in shelters was up for repeal, she convened a press conference (in the pouring rain!) with community members and their beloved dogs. When a nonprofit that served women and families in crisis had a funding shortfall, she helped secure funding for the organization. And when salon employees were at risk, she led efforts to reform health and safety rules.
Every time we helped her organize an event or put on a press conference, we were struck by how hard she worked and how much she knew about the issues and cared about getting things done.
It was never about the spotlight – it was about elevating every voice in our community and making Alameda County a better place. May the work she started be carried forward by all of us who knew her. May her memory be a blessing.