Friday, October 7, 2011

In San Francisco, Gordon Chin Left a Legacy of Building Bridges

Rep. Nancy Pelosi presents Chin with his American Flag
Chinatown CDC’s founding Executive Director Gordon Chin retired last Friday drawing national praise for his contributions to San Francisco's communities and to the field of community development since 1977.

About 800 people attended a gala celebration of Chinatown CDC's 34th anniversary and farewell tribute to Chin, including the honorable Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and special guests such as San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Assemblyman Mark Leno. Representative Pelosi paid tribute to Chin by presenting him with a United States flag flown in Washington, D.C. in his name.

Chin’s leadership at Chinatown CDC has had a huge impact on San Francisco residents and neighborhoods. The organization assists more than 4,000 residents and manages 2,300 units of housing in the greater San Francisco area.

 San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee honors Gordon Chin
The nonprofit is one of San Francisco’s most important
community organizations because of its leadership in affordable housing issues and city matters in the past 30 years, Doug Shoemaker, director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Robert Burns, director of Field Operations for NeighborWorks America added, “Gordon's work on behalf of low income and working class residents of San Francisco embodied the core values of NeighborWorks and sets an example for all of us to follow within our own communities.”

Chin spoke of his 34 years at Chinatown CDC as the best and thanked his wife Dorothy for all her support. He plans to write, consult and focus on developing The Gordon Chin Leadership Fund, which will expand community leadership programs and enhance Chinatown CDC's ability to respond quickly to important community issues.

“It’s always been about building bridges between people, partnerships within the community and between communities,” Chin said.

"A heartfelt thanks to all of you who joined us for the evening celebration," said Fei Tsen, chair of Chinatown CDC board of directors. "It was a truly joyful event and so great to have the opportunity to speak with so many of you. On behalf of the children and families who benefit from your help, a very special mahalo from the heart."

On October 1, Norman Fong became Chinatown CDC's executive director. He has been with the nonprofit since 1990. Fong is committed to building upon Chin's legacy and model of leadership to ensure Chinatown CDC continues pave the way in the community development field.