By Richard Konda, Executive Director, Asian Law Alliance
On September 13, 2004, Jim McEntee Sr., a true giant in our community died suddenly of a heart attack. For 27 years Jim was the director of the Santa Clara County Office of Human Relations (OHR) until his retirement in 2003.
Jim McEntee was truly a unique and special individual. He was a caring and loving person, who saw the value of all members of the community. He understood the importance of legal services targeting the Asian Pacific Islander communities. During ALA's early years, one of Jim’s staff members, Brad Yamauchi, spent a considerable amount of his time supervising ALA's young and energetic staff with Jim’s encouragement.
During the struggle for redress and reparations for Japanese Americans interned by the U.S. government during World War II, Jim was a strong and constant ally. He spoke out on behalf of all immigrants whether documented or undocumented. He was an advocate for the homeless members of our community. Jim's accomplishments, the causes he cared for deeply are too numerous to mention here.
Jim had the vision and foresight to establish the Santa Clara County Network for a Hate Free Community before the terrible backlash against Muslims, Arab-Americans and South Asians following 9/11/01.
Jim McEntee was the conscience of Santa Clara County.
Jim, we miss you and love you.