It takes “Stamina” (or staying power) to build and sustain community.Chinatown CDC was born during the year of the I-Hotel Eviction when our community faced so many threats of displacement. Doesn’t that sound familiar?
Tonight’s theme is “Building Community – Chinatown Style.” That is the title of Gordon Chin’s new book that chronicles Chinatown CDC’s roots and the many people involved who helped build our community. This book reminds us that we have dealt with “tough times” before and that we continue to be blessed with leaders who move the struggle forward. Make sure you pick up a copy tonight.
Chinatown CDC is growing stronger with the amazing “staying power” of a new generation. I can’t believe our Adopt An Alleyway (AAA) youth program began 24 years ago and many of the alumni are now on our staff and Board! Other youth program graduates have moved into citywide leadership positions but they always retain their love and concern for Chinatown. It’s great to have Supervisor Jane Kim (who directed our youth leadership development programs for 6 years) co-emceeing our GALA tonight with one of our newest board members, Theo Ellington. The future is looking good.
The city’s devastating affordability crisis is challenging all of us and yet Chinatown CDC has a new opportunity to turn around 577 units of public housing as part of a citywide effort to create a sustainable future for San Francisco’s public housing stock. And the good news is that Chinatown CDC has an incredible community of support and mission-driven staff and board members who have “Stamina” etched in their hearts and minds.
The individuals we are honoring tonight include: Margaret Gee, a former Chinatown CDC staff member who has stood the test of time in not only supporting Chinatown CDC but being a leader for Bay Area LISC; Allan Low, of Perkins Coie, who has given Chinatown CDC so much pro-bono legal assistance since the rebuilding of the I-Hotel; and Geoffrey Palermo who has generously hosted community gatherings like our Super Sundays and provided temporary accommodations for tenants that were in between housing.
I am so proud of the thousands of residents, youth, SRO families and seniors that we serve and yes together we can make a difference. We continue to learn from each other and support each other as evident by our growing number of supporters and friends, underscoring the “Spirit of Stamina”. Super blessings and Power to you – and remember We can’t do this without YOUR support.