The City Council passed Resolution 31827 today to honor the legacy of community activist Alan “Al” Sugiyama. 15th Avenue South between South Nevada Street and South Columbian Way will have an honorary designation of “Alan Sugiyama Way.”
Mr. Sugiyama, a life-long Seattle resident, community activist, and educator lived over 40 years in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. He founded the Asian Family Affair newspaper in Seattle in 1972. In 1989, Sugiyama was the first Asian American elected to the Seattle School Board where he served two terms, advocated for educational equity, and honorably served as President of the Seattle School Board.
Sugiyama established the Center for Career Alternatives in 1979, an organization that provided free education, employment and career training for disadvantaged adults and youths in King and Snohomish counties. He later served as executive director of the Executive Development Institute.
Sugiyama passed away January 2, 2017 after a long battle with cancer.
“Al Sugiyama served as an inspiration to us all. He stood up against inequity, racism, and as founder of an Asian newspaper, fought back against the misrepresentation of Asian Americans in the media. He helped countless people reach their full potential through his career alternatives program,” said Council President Bruce Harrell (District 2, South Seattle). “Al had a contagious, determined spirit, and believed one person could create change. Even while battling cancer, his community work didn’t stop. His legacy lives on, and with this street naming, Seattle will always be reminded of the impact he had on our city.”
Members from the community and street naming committee added, “This is a great honor for a great Seattleite and a wonderful way to recognize Al’s achievements. It is a reminder for all of us that we have a responsibility to lend a helping hand to those in need. The recognition is a reminder that leaders should be honest and hardworking people who place service above personal gain. Al and his selfless work on behalf of others made him a hero every day for over thirty years.”
The Resolution was approved unanimously during the July 23rd Full Council meeting at 2:00 p.m. At the conclusion of that meeting, Council President Harrell will host a reception in the Bertha Knight Landes room, located on the first floor (main lobby) of City Hall, 600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104.
The street signs are scheduled to be installed in August.
A bill signing by Mayor Jenny Durkan will take place in early August.
Photo of Alan Sugiyama below.