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Today, District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani, the family of Mr. Vicha Ratanapakdee, and the Southeast Asian Development Center introduced a resolution of intent to change the name of “Sonora Lane,” located in the Anza Vista neighborhood, to “Vicha Ratanapakdee Way.”
Vicha Ratanapakdee was an 84-year-old immigrant from Thailand and lived in the Anza Vista neighborhood with his family. He was well known in his community for his hour-long walks each morning, a ritual that kept him vibrant and healthy during the pandemic. On January 28, 2021, Mr. Ratanapakdee was violently shoved and tragically died shortly after the attack.
“This horrific incident was one of several senseless attacks against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community here in the San Francisco— our friends and neighbors should not have to fear the unthinkable when they walk our streets,” said Supervisor Stefani.
Stop AAPI Hate, a California-based coalition, has recorded nearly 7,000 hate incidents involving Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders nationwide since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Southeast Asian American communities including Thai, Laotians, Cambodians, and Vietnamese have long been overlooked. Today, as a community, we are taking steps to change that. I am honored to stand with Supervisor Stefani to recognize that the Thai and broader Southeast Asian community are part of the national conversation to stop AAPI hate,” said Judy Young, Executive Director of the Southeast Asian Development Center (SEADC).
Mr. Ratanapakdee is survived by loving family members in both California and Thailand. Since his passing, his daughter and her husband have both worked incredibly hard to ensure survivors of these attacks and their families are supported through city services, law enforcement and the justice system.
“It is important to our family that we honor the memory of our beloved father. He has become a national symbol in the stop AAPI hate movement. The street name change to Vicha Ratanapakdee Way will remind future generations that violence against our AAPI elders has no place in our society,” said Monthanus Ratanapakdee.
“I’m honored that Mr. Ratanapakdee’s loving family members entrusted me to work on this request. My hope is that the renaming of this street will serve as meaningful way to memorialize Mr. Ratanapakdee and symbolize our City’s solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities,” said Supervisor Stefani.