On Saturday, Orange County’s residents lost one of it’s strongest voices against discrimination, intolerance and injustice. Amin David was one of the nicest, caring soft spoken gentleman I have ever had the pleasure of calling my friend.
I wasn’t his only friend, if you met him, he was your friend. If you were a victim of hate, discrimination or intolerance, he was your friend.
He was kind, caring, funny, devoted to his family and friends. His friendship knew no bounds. If you were in need, he was there. I will miss his passionate voice whenever hate reared it’s ugly head. I will miss the sweet gentleman he was.
Rest in peace my friend,
Becky Esparza, on behalf of OC Human Relations Commission
ANAHEIM – Amin David, known for decades as one of the most unapologetic activists for Latinos and other marginalized communities in Orange County, died the night of May 21, 2016 in his Anaheim home after battling lymphoma. He was 83.
“Our beloved Dad is now in heaven, resting in peace. After a couple hours of restlessness, he unexpectedly crossed over last night at about 10:45 pm.,” a family member wrote Sunday in a Facebook page titled “Amin David’s Journey to Wholeness.”
Within a few hours of the announcement, dozens on the social network wrote their condolences and appreciation for his contributions to the county.
David, who moved to California from Chihuahua, Mexico, became a U.S. citizen and in 1978 took leadership in founding the group Los Amigos of Orange County, born out of a struggle between the community and police in Anaheim.
With the motto “Nos gusta ayudar,” Spanish for “We like to help,” Los Amigos has continued to tackle issues including education, civil rights, public safety, government transparency and arts and culture.
Last August, David told the Orange County Register that Los Amigos’ biggest accomplishment was, “We’ve punctured the shield of the police department.”
Connecting with law enforcement to change the way police treat Latinos, the homeless and poor, David added, is “making sure regular people have a voice.”
David served as president of Los Amigos until 2012, facilitating breakfast meetings every Wednesday at Jagerhaus Restaurant in Anaheim, where anyone needing help was invited to speak out and was heard and helped.
“The center core of what he did was around Latinos. They were just so marginalized in terms of voice and politics and space that he unapologetically stood up to assure that our communities had a voice and were heard,” said Jose Moreno, who has been Los Amigos president since 2012.
David took on issues in other communities countywide, like Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, and “became and always was a staunch advocate for human rights, period,” said Moreno, an associate professor of Chicano and Latino Studies and the department chair at Cal State Long Beach.
In 1971, David became the first chair of the Orange County Human Relations Commission and in 1977, the first Latino appointed to the Anaheim Planning Commission. The longtime Anaheim resident was a founding member of Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development and Orange County Community Housing Corporation and recently was an active member of the Anaheim police chief’s advisory board.
He also ran two successful plumbing and materials companies in Anaheim.
David was diagnosed with lymphoma in the fall, Moreno said.
He is survived by his wife and four children.
“You would be hard-pressed to find any corner of Orange County with communities that have been marginalized and targeted that would not know the name Amin David,” Moreno said.