Celebration honoring Lai-Bitker is December 16
A celebration honoring Alice Lai-Bitker’s decade of service on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors is being held Thursday, December 16 at Rock Wall Wine Company, 2301 Monarch Street on Alameda Point. Admission is $35, and hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served. To RSVP, call 263-9399.
Lai-Bitker decided in January not to run for the board again in order to spend more time with family, she told the East Bay Citizen in an interview. Her former boss, Wilma Chan, will be retaking the District 3 seat, which covers covers Alameda, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Ashland, Hillcrest Knolls and portions of Oakland.
Lai-Bitker was appointed to the board in 2000 after Chan, who she had served for five years as an aide, left for a job in the state Legislature. The Hong Kong native, who has lived in Alameda since 1988, beat out 14 other people to win the board job and was re-elected to her seat in 2002, building a reputation as a low-key consensus builder.
A former social worker, Lai-Bitker spearheaded several efforts to improve access to health care and social services. One major initiative was the No Wrong Door initiative, which was set up to improve access to social services. Lai-Bitker also campaigned for new taxes that helped Highland Hospital and Alameda Hospital remain open.
Lai-Bitker has also been a familiar face locally, appearing at a recent City Council meeting to press the council to sign a long-lapsed emergency medical services contract with the county and lending her name to efforts to build consensus on a school parcel tax.
Lai-Bitker’s term concludes at the end of December.