The following is a statement from Donnie Chin Children’s Park Naming Coordinating Committee:
While not committing to the Asian American community’s request to rename the park at Seventh and So. Lane after the late Donnie Chin, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jesus Aguirre offered several ways his department could memorialize and honor Chin’s legacy.
The Parks and Recreation Department, Aguirre 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 also said that 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 to the name change because of a provision in the Parks and Recreation Parks policies that stipulates that “the person must be deceased for a minimum of three years” before a park can be named after a person. (Chin died this past summer.) However, Aguirre inferred that 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 gather the community’s wishes regarding the Superintendent’s offer at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27 at the IDEA Space conference room, which is on the lower floor of the Bush Asia Center, next to Hing Hay Park.