Alameda County residents are in shock following the tragic death of a longtime elected official. Supervisor Wilma Chan was struck and killed by a motorist Wednesday while out walking her dog. The accident occurred at the corner of Grand Street and Shoreline Drive. The driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with authorities, according to the Alameda Police Department.
Chan had served on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors since 1994. She represented District 3, which includes Alameda, San Leandro, part of Oakland, and Chinatown. From 2000 to 2006, she served in the State Assembly. She was the first woman and Asian American to serve as majority leader.
“Like many residents tonight, I am devastated by the untimely passing of my dear friend and colleague Supervisor Wilma Chan. Wilma was a tireless public servant, a champion for inclusion and equity, and a fierce advocate for public health and our most vulnerable residents,” tweeted Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
“As an Oakland Unified School Board Director, a state Assembly Member for Oakland and Alameda, and a County Supervisor representing Oakland and our Chinatown, San Antonio, and Fruitvale districts, Wilma fought for a better future for every resident, for every family.”
“My heart is broken by the news of Wilma Chan’s passing in this awful tragedy, and my deepest condolences to her family,” said Sen. Nancy Skinner. “This is a true loss for all of the Bay Area. Supervisor Chan was an absolute trailblazer and a decades-long champion for those in need.”
Gavin Newsom also offered his condolences. Chan’s “decades of service to the community, championing health care, affordable housing and support for families, has touched the lives of many. Our thoughts are with her loved ones at this time,” the Governor’s Office said.
Wednesday’s tragedy has reignited a discussion about street safety. The intersection where Chan was hit has seen numerous injuries and several deaths, according to Bike Walk Alameda. The area was singled out in Alameda’s Vision Zero Action Plan, which aims to end serious traffic injuries and fatalities in the city by 2035.
Chan is survived by two children and two grandchildren.