OAPIA Mourns Passing of Duane Wang, Chinatown Community Leader

The DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA) expressed their profound sadness and mourn the passing of Duane Wang on February 2, 2015 at the age of 88. Duane dedicated his life to community service and activism for over 60 years. In 1987, the late Mayor Marion Barry bestowed upon Mr. Wang the honorary title of “Mayor of Chinatown” in order to recognize his enthusiasm and concern for the DC Chinatown community.

“Duane was a tireless leader in Chinatown, and a steadfast advocate for the welfare of its residents and small businesses, particularly around issues of affordable housing,” said David Do, OAPIA Director. “Let us remember his passion, dedication, and love for Chinatown and the District of Columbia.”

Mr. Wang was involved in many efforts within the Chinatown community; he served as Chairman of the Chinatown Steering Committee and co-founded the Chinatown Community Cultural Center where he later served as Vice Chair. Mr. Wang also advocated for the establishment of the Asian Liaison Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department in Chinatown to better serve limited English proficient/non-English proficient Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) residents. Additionally, the Chinatown Friendship Archway on 7th and H Street NW was erected in part through his efforts.

Duane Wang is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren. A funeral service honoring Duane’s life will be held on Sunday, February 8, 2015 in Brentwood, Maryland. For additional information on the funeral service or to express condolences, please contact Linda Wang at liwah2@hotmail.com.

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