I am still in shock about the loss of my friend, Supervisor Wilma Chan, but I wanted to share some thoughts. I have personally known Wilma since early 1980, a time in which the both of us were politically active, along with a number of young people working towards social change. At that time, there was the movement to establish neighborhood clinics, food programs in K-12 schools, as well as food programs for seniors and other homebound residents of Alameda County. We were Black, brown, yellow, red, and white socially aware people, working together for equal access to housing, jobs, education, and safe communities, established by knowing your neighbors and always caring about each other’s welfare.

Late into Tuesday night, November 2, 2021, Wilma and the rest of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors had been meeting to maintain those same values by trying to decide on how to allocate scarce county funds to many of the programs and services that had first introduced Wilma and I to each other – the beginning of a more than 40-year working relationship and, more importantly, our friendship. My thoughts and heart especially go out to Wilma’s two children, Jennifer and Daren, and the rest of her family. I will always remember Wilma the way I first met her as a committed fighter to improve the quality of life for everyone from 0-5 and from 5 to sunset.  I miss her. The work continues.

– Keith Carson