By Douglas Chin
For Northwest Asian Weekly
While not committing to the Asian American community’s request to rename the International Children’s Park at Seventh Avenue South and South Lane Street after the late Donnie Chin, Seattle’s Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jesus Aguirre offered several ways his department could memorialize and honor Chin’s legacy.
The Parks and Recreation Department, Aquirre said, is willing to name several park facilities in the Chinatown/International District after Chin: (1) the play area at the Children’s Park, (2) a room at the park’s community center, and (3) the new addition to Hing Hay Park.
Moreover, the superintendent said, his department would be open to erecting a memorial of Chin at the Children’s Park as well as providing more programming and activities at that park.
The Superintendent made his offer to the Donnie Chin Children’s Park Naming Coordinating Committee, which evolved to spearhead the community’s request to name the Children’s Park after Chin. “We strongly believe that naming the park after Donnie would be an appropriate way to recognize his role as the founder of this park, and to pay tribute to Donnie for dedicating his entire life to making our community a safer and better neighborhood for all,” the committee told the superintendent.
Although the committee argued that there are compelling reasons to rename the park after Chin, the superintendent expressed reluctance about the name change because of a provision in Parks and Recreation policies stipulating that “the person must be deceased for a minimum of three years” before a park can be named after a person (Chin was fatally shot during summer this year). However, Aquirre suggested he is open to putting into motion the steps to officially rename the park after Chin when the three years have passed.
The Donnie Chin Children’s Park Naming Coordinating Committee will hold a public meeting, to consider community residents’ wishes regarding the superintendent’s offer, at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the IDEA Space conference room, on the lower floor of the Bush Asia Center, next to Hing Hay Park. (end)