By Assunta Ng
Northwest Asian Weekly
The community is still grieving Donnie Chin’s death. There are several ways which we can help the community to heal. One is to help the police to find the killer(s). Meantime, here is what the community can do to honor Chin.
1. Continue IDEC’s mission
Teresita Batayola, International Community Health System, said, “Whenever and wherever there was a trouble spot, Donnie was there. International District Emergency Center must continue. IDEC lives, Donnie lives. Our community needs that.”
The Asian Weekly contacted Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess about funding for IDEC. He favors continuing the $19,000 grant for IDEC. His advice is for IDEC to submit it to the mayor’s budget in September.
In fact, IDEC should request bigger funding so that it can increase from a one to two-person staff. The International District Chinatown is a unique part of Seattle, with hundreds of businesses, producing revenue for the City. As an Asian cultural center, it’s a primary attraction for tourists.
The IDEC actually saves the City money because it takes care of many potential problems before the problems get bigger, according to Chin in an interview with the Asian Weekly in 2011.
2. Donnie Chin Children’s Park
Dedicate the International Children’s Park to Donnie Chin—this was a suggestion from the Organization of Chinese Americans.
3. Preserve Sun May
The Northwest Asian Weekly would like to see a tribute to local hero Donnie Chin. Preserve Chin’s gift shop, Sun May, as part of Chinatown’s history. What better place to do that than to keep Sun May. Chin’s story would inspire youth and adults to support and give back to their community. His store is a nice addition to Wing Luke Museum’s tour. It can also continue to be a gift shop for tourists because Sun May is one of the remaining Asian pioneer businesses started by Chin’s parents. The rent is $50 a month. But Bernie Kay, manager of the building, said they donated the rent back to IDEC. Hopefully, Chin family and the building owners can work out a deal to preserve Chin’s legacy, an important chapter of Seattle’s history.
4. Donnie Chin’s exhibit
The Wing should do an exhibit on Chin’s life soon. Currently, the Wing has displayed Chin’s portrait and uniform outside its window facing the Canton Alley. His closed friends including Dean Wong had collected materials from Chin, including an old baton and sword. Those materials should be part of the exhibit.
5. Donnie Chin’s Alley
Canton Alley should be named for Donnie Chin as it was Chin’s dream to create the alley into a viable and appealing living space for kids and neighbors, suggested Sharon Maeda. One of his favorite activities was to cook bbq on the alley.
6. Documentary and book
Dean Wong, Debbie Louie, Shannon Gee and a few others are in the early stages of planning a possible book and video documentary on Chin.
7. Memorial or sculpture
Kathy Chinn and Arlene Oki suggested making a bronze sculpture and a memorial of Donnie Chin in Hing Hay Park.
A sign to indicate where he was killed, is important to have in the I.D.
It is clear the community will not be forgetting Chin anytime soon. (end)
Assunta Ng can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.