Colleagues, friends remember Alameda Co. Supervisor Wilma Chan as selfless public servant

"She was an amazing champion, a quiet champion for the vulnerable and for public health."
ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- The Bay Area is remembering the life and work of Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, tragically struck and killed Wednesday in Alameda while walking her dog.

Many are remembering Chan's amazing legacy of public service.

Colleagues cried and hugged outside the Alameda County Administration building trying to process the sudden loss of Wilma Chan, who dedicated 30 years of her life to public service. A candlelight vigil has held there Thursday evening.

"I considered her not a colleague, but a friend," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.



RELATED: Intersection where Supervisor Chan was killed identified as a high-injury intersection by Alameda
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The Alameda intersection where Supervisor Wilma Chan was hit and killed had been identified as a high-injury intersection by the city.



Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf worked closely with Chan on many issues over the years from promoting youth leadership to addressing racial disparities around the COVID-19 pandemic.

"She was an amazing champion, a quiet champion for the vulnerable and for public health," said Schaaf.

Chan was struck and killed Wednesday, while walking her dog in Alameda. The driver of the car which struck her was cooperating with police.

First elected to the Alameda Board of Supervisors board in 1994, the first Asian American woman to hold that post, Chan would go on to serve in the California State Assembly and would later be re-elected to the board of supervisors in 2010.

RELATED: Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan dies after struck by car while walking dog
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Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan has died after being struck by a car Wednesday while walking her dog, her office said in a statement.



"We always remember Wilma and love her," said Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce president Carl Chan.

Chan says the Bay Area has lost an important advocate.

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"I think her legacy is about how to make our county work better, so that everyone who needs help will get help," said Chan.

Oakland's Unity Council, a nonprofit advocate for low income immigrant families, credits Wilma Chan for supporting affordable housing projects like Casa Arabella in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood.

"Because of her advocacy and efforts, the Unity Council was able to build affordable housing units for low income families, especially immigrants," said Unity Council CEO Karely Ordaz.

And 20 years ago at a time when building a children's hospice in the East Bay was unheard of, Chan helped George Mark Children's House founders secure land in San Leandro.

She's been a proponent and an advocate, one of our strongest supporters for the kind of care we provide, but for Wilma, it never would have happened," said George Mark Children's House CEO Linda Ashcraft Hudak.

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