A street in Alameda, California, has been renamed in honor of late Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan.
Beginning on Wednesday, Constitution Way — which connects Alameda and Oakland near the Posey and Webster Street tubes — will be known as Wilma Chan Way, reminding drivers of the trailblazing public servant.
“We thought that renaming Constitution Way might serve as a safety reminder to people who are coming in and out of Alameda,” said Chan’s daughter Jennifer, according to KGO. “Making a positive impact, especially in health and safety, were really at the core of who my mom was.”
Jennifer and her sibling Daren joined Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and other officials for the renaming ceremony on Wednesday, where the siblings received the street sign bearing their mother’s name.
Chan, whose political career spanned nearly three decades, died at the age of 72. She was struck by a car on Nov. 3, 2021, while walking her dog in the area of Grand Street and Shoreline Drive.
The driver remained at the scene until police arrived. After a year-long investigation, prosecutors determined that no charges “could be filed, sustained or proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Chan made history by becoming the first Asian American elected to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in 1995. Five years later, she was elected to the California State Assembly, becoming its first woman and first Asian American majority leader.
She represented Alameda, Oakland and Piedmont when she legislated for California’s 16th District in the Assembly. In her latest role as supervisor, she served District 3 residents in Alameda, parts of Oakland, unincorporated San Lorenzo and Hayward Acres, San Leandro and part of unincorporated Ashland, according to the Mercury News.
Colleagues remembered her unique brand of leadership at the renaming ceremony.
“To rename a street Wilma Chan Way means a lot because there was a Wilma Chan way and it was special and it was impactful,” Supervisor Dave Brown said.