The process to rename International Children’s Park in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District after the beloved community activist Donnie Chin is moving forward. Today, Mayor Ed Murray sent to the Seattle City Council a resolution seeking the Council’s support of renaming the park “International Children’s Park” to “Donnie Chin International Children’s Park.”
The family of Donnie Chin requested that the new park name keep “International Children’s Park” in the title, as Mr. Chin was an integral part of the creation of the park and approved of the original name.
“Donnie was instrumental in founding and developing this park and it’s fitting that we recognize him in this way,” said Mayor Murray. “Donnie’s commitment to the neighborhood was unwavering, having dedicated his entire life to serving those around him.”
“Our family is so pleased and deeply grateful to the community for their help and participation,” said Constance Magorty, Donnie’s sister. “Thank you to Superintendent Jesús Aguirre for waiving the three-year waiting period and for the generous support of Mayor Ed Murray. Donnie was truly selfless and worked tirelessly, devoting his life to making the community a better place to live and work. Donnie loved children and created a safe place for them to play. Renaming the park is an incredible way to honor his lifetime of work in the community. Donnie shied away from the spotlight, but we hope in doing this, he will continue to inspire others to follow in his footsteps and work in community service.”
Located at 700 S. Lane St., International Children’s Park was originally built in 1981 and was substantially renovated and improved in 2012. When the Chinatown/International District community began to identify needed programs and neighborhood improvements in the mid-1970s, Mr. Chin brought up the need for a children’s park and he continued to champion the idea until the park was built.
“I hope when we all visit the park or see Donnie’s name at the park, we all reflect on the selflessness of his actions in helping others and that we all embody Donnie’s spirit of action and service in the Chinatown/International District,” said Council President Bruce Harrell.
“Donnie Chin is a true Seattle legend. I consider this action by city government to be a humble, yet fitting tribute to Mr. Chin’s decades of community service. Donnie’s generosity shaped a powerful legacy, particularly for the young Seattleites playing in this valued park,” said Councilmember Debora Juarez, chair of the Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries, & Waterfront Committee.
Longtime director of the International District Emergency Center, Donnie Chin was tragically killed in an early morning shooting on July 23, 2015.
Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jesús Aguirre has agreed to waive the existing Parks and Recreation policy that requires a person to be deceased for a minimum of three years before a park may be named in his or her honor.