The following is a letter to the community from the family of Donnie Chin regarding the renaming of International Children’s Park:
Dear community members,
We would like to thank you all for your tremendous support over the past months since Donnie’s passing. We appreciate the many efforts that have gone into remembering our brother and his lifetime of work for the community. We are writing to formally state our family’s position on the renaming of the International Children’s Park for Donnie Chin. We feel honored that the community wants to name the park after Donnie and greatly appreciate the community’s participation in this process. Donnie’s love of children and his wish for them to have a safe place to play was the catalyst for the park. We feel it is most appropriate for the name of the park to be “Donnie Chin International Children’s Park.” Donnie was an integral part of the creation of the International Children’s Park and approved of the name. We do not want to take away anything from the original name of the park. Donnie strongly believed in treating everyone equally and being inclusive. Donnie named his own organization the International District Emergency Center. We ask for your understanding in our decision.
We are deeply grateful to The Honorable Mayor Ed Murray for creating a resolution for the renaming of the International Children’s Park to “Donnie Chin International Children’s Park” and for approving the exemption from the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department’s three-year waiting rule. Thank you also to Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell and the Seattle City Council for their support of this resolution. Special thanks to the renaming committee for their hard work to make this happen.
There are members of the community who are interested in erecting a statue of Donnie in the park. This is not of our family’s wishes. We ask for something more modest to reflect Donnie’s modesty. We hereby request that our family be consulted and involved with anything placed at the park to commemorate Donnie. We know that Donnie meant a great deal to many of those who knew him. We understand there may be many other desires to honor him. Please consult us on anything named in Donnie’s honor in the future.
Donnie loved his community and devoted his life to making the International District a better place. We feel the best way to honor Donnie is to continue his good work in the community. Get involved in community service. Help each other. Donnie was most proud of inspiring “his kids” and others to help their community. They are his legacy.
Please make all inquiries through Jamie Lee at Seattle Chinatown/International District Preservation Authority. You can reach Jamie at [email protected] or (206) 838-8713.
The family of Donnie Chin