About Wilma Chan

Supervisor Wilma Chan

Alameda County Supervisor Chan represents District 3, which includes the cities of Alameda, San Leandro, a portion of Oakland, including Chinatown, Jack London, Fruitvale, San Antonio, Melrose, and Havenscourt neighborhoods. District 3 also includes the unincorporated communities of San Lorenzo, Hayward Acres and a portion of Ashland.

Supervisor Chan is currently Chair of the Health Committee, ALL IN Steering Committee, and the Unincorporated Services Committee, and a member of the County’s Personnel, Administrative, & Legislative Committee, Finance Committee, and Budget Workgroup.

Key Policy & Community-Based Initiatives

Since taking office in January 2011, Supervisor Chan has led several key policy and community-based initiatives, including:

  • Saving San Leandro Hospital, preserving the emergency room, saving numerous jobs and protecting the county’s safety net;
  • Declaring a “New War on Poverty”, a multi-year effort that calls upon the entire community to help remove the barriers that prevent individuals and families from achieving financial self-sufficiency;
  • Launching the “All In to End Hunger 2020” campaign to eliminate food insecurity in Alameda County;
  • Leading a Board action that secured $90 million to invest in unincorporated Alameda County;
  • Developing the “Human Impact Budget” to address the impact of state budget cuts to the county’s most vulnerable populations, including securing a $300,000 grant from the California Endowment;
  • Leading Alameda County to become the first county in the nation to commit to connecting all eligible children to health care coverage;
  • Promoting volunteerism and community support for local schools through her Adopt-A-School initiative.

Background and Achievements

Supervisor Chan has been a strong advocate for children and families for over 40 years. From 2000-2006, Ms. Chan served in the California State Assembly where she became the first woman and Asian American to be Majority Leader. In the Assembly, Ms. Chan authored several groundbreaking bills, including one that implemented a no-lead standard in drinking water pipes and fixtures, and another that made California the first state to ban toxic flame retardants. In February 2016, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control announced that Ms. Chan’s legislation had resulted in a 39% decline in the level of flame-retardants absorbed into women’s breast milk since her bill was enacted in 2006.

Ms. Chan also authored historic legislation to end the practice of hospitals overcharging uninsured and underinsured patients and to cover California’s 800,000 uninsured children. She won approval of $100 million to expand State Preschool and fought successfully to maintain the state’s Master Plan for college student access. In 2010, it was her bill that blew the whistle on Anthem Blue Cross when they tried to implement a 33% rate increase in California. The widespread attention to this issue helped propel national healthcare reform to victory.

After serving four years on the Oakland Board of Education, Ms. Chan became the first Asian American elected to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. During her six years of service to the County (1995 to 2000), Ms. Chan wrote the strategic plan to keep the County Medical Center open, formed the Alameda County First Five Commission, implemented a citizenship program with the passage of welfare reform, and established youth collaboratives in Alameda and San Leandro focused on improving the lives of young people.

Ms. Chan served as the Legislator-in-Residence at UC Berkeley during the 2006-07 academic years and also taught political science on campus for two years. In addition, she served four years on the California Medical Assistance Commission, where she worked to assure Medi-Cal recipients received timely access to hospital care. She also served as Vice President for Policy at Children Now, a national children’s advocacy organization located in Oakland.

Supervisor Chan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Wellesley College and a Master of Arts degree in Education Policy & Administration from Stanford University. She has two grown children and two grandchildren.

Awards & Accolades

(partial list)

  • “In the Spirit Award” for Civic Leadership
  • Hunger Fighter Award – California Hunger Network
  • Person of the Year – World Journal
  • Best Newcomer – National Association of Social Workers
  • Rising Star Award – California League of Conservation Voters
  • Champion for Children – Children’s Hospital Association
  • Legislator of the Year – California Optometric Association, CA Nurse Practitioners
  • Top of the Class – California Journal
  • Outstanding Public Service Award – California School Employees Association
  • Legislator of the Year – Oakland East Bay Democratic Club
  • California Freshman of the Year – American Association of University Women
  • Paul Harris Award – Rotary International