Remarks In Memory Of Harold Yee
I rise to pay final tribute to civil rights leader and community
activist Harold Yee, who passed away on February 5th in San Francisco.
Harold was an extraordinary leader and visionary who empowered San
Francisco's Asian American community to dramatically expand and
solidify its economic and political strength.
"Born in China in 1932, Harold immigrated to the United States
in 1939 where he grew up in East Los Angeles. He received his bachelor's
degree in pomology from UC Davis in 1956, and his master's degree
in economics from UC Berkeley in 1961. Beginning as a researcher
for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Harold discovered his
passion for community development, eventually leaving the FDA in
1971 to found ASIAN, Inc.
"Through ASIAN, Inc., Harold strengthened the San Francisco
Asian American community economically, socially and politically.
ASIAN, Inc. helped launch many minority-owned small businesses in
San Francisco, trained young professionals for the rigors of running
their own businesses, and encouraged the development of trade associations.
Harold leaves a rich legacy, including more than 100 non-profit
organizations and agencies.
"Harold was a fierce advocate for the civil rights and equality
of Asian Pacific Americans. He founded the Chinese American Voter
Education Committee to increase political awareness and participation.
His contributions to the Asian American Community and to the City
of San Francisco are immeasurable.
"Harold's boundless energy and enthusiasm for life were contagious.
He was a mentor and a friend to countless people, who greatly benefited
from his wisdom, support and friendship. It is with sadness and
appreciation that I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife, Wilma,
his daughter, Catherine, and his son, Robert. To his family and
friends, thank you for allowing him to give his time to the community