Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan dies after struck by car while walking dog

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Alameda Co. Supervisor Wilma Chan dies after being struck by car
Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan has died after being struck by a car Wednesday while walking her dog, her office said in a statement.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan has died after being struck by a car Wednesday while walking her dog in Alameda, her office said in a statement.

Chan suffered a head injury and died shortly after at Highland Hospital. Police say the driver stayed at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation.

Now, with flowers lining the street where the accident happened, the community she served for many years is speaking of her legacy.

"People don't even know how much they're going to miss her yet. They miss her now but they're not even going to realize how much she did for our community," said San Leandro Mayor, Pauline Cutter.

Cutter says Chan worked tirelessly for the causes she believed in.

Just this past week, she made numerous public appearances, including advocating for vaccines with Governor Newsom and discussing the future of the possible new Oakland A's stadium at the latest Board of Supervisors' meeting.

"She wanted to hear directly what people were feeling, experiencing, what struggles they were going through and how she could help," said Andrew Park, the co-founder of Oakland-based nonprofit, Trybe.

He says the supervisor was instrumental in the group's success in helping those most in need and advocated tirelessly behind the scenes to secure federal money for Alameda County when the coronavirus emerged.

"We fed thousands and thousands of people. We are still feeding thousands and thousands of people every single month. Over 220,000 people every single month because of her courageous acts," he said.

Chan's career in politics spanned 30 years. She was elected to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors first in 1994 and then again in 2010.

In between, she served in the California State Assembly, including as majority leader.

But beyond her political accomplishments, Chan is also seen by many in the state as a leader for the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Breaking glass ceilings and addressing issues that matter most to the group, says Bill Wong, the political director for California Assembly Democrats.

"She was a very strong voice. She was fearless and she was very astute politically. So she was able to get things done," Wong said.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley has released a statement on Chan's passing:

"Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan. Supervisor Chan was a north star for so many important issues that served the vulnerable in our community. She was a champion, for example, of All In Alameda County, which addresses food insecurity and address issues of poverty. Her influence and commitment to her community and Alameda County will be greatly missed."

The governor's office tweeted their condolences, praising Chan's "decades of service to the community, championing health care, affordable housing and support for families."

Chan is survived by two children and two grandchildren.