Los Amigos: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Amin David

Amin David at a rally in Anaheim. (Photo credit: Chris Prevatt)

On May 21, 2016 Orange County lost a giant in our community–Amin David, founder of Los Amigos of Orange County.

The legacy of Amin David will live on in Orange County long after his passing.

It will live on through the Latino community having a greater voice at City Halls in Anaheim and across Orange County. It will live on through the goal of better community-police relations.  And it will live on through the struggle to end discrimination in the many ways it has surfaced in Orange County – in the workplace, in housing and in our schools.

Amin, fittingly born Dec. 12, 1932 on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, died May 21, 2016 at age 83. He was remembered as a tireless advocate for the Latino community, a leader who could be fiercely critical of the failure of government to treat people fairly yet a compassionate man who lived by the credo of Los Amigos of Orange County and its quest to help people – “Nos gusta ayudar.”

Amin, an immigrant from Chihuahua, Mexico, was the son of Lebanese father and Mexican mother, and attended school in El Paso, Texas and in Sacramento. From 1953 to 1955 he served in the Army and earned the right to become a U.S. citizen. Under the G.I. Bill, he studied business at the University of Arizona and at Cal State Los Angeles, and went on to become a successful business owner in Anaheim. He became active in the civic life of Anaheim and Orange County through his work on behalf of nearly two dozen civic, civil rights and advocacy organizations, as well as through service on the inaugural Human Relations Commission of Orange County.

His founding in 1978 of Los Amigos, with then-Anaheim Mayor Bill Thom, began as a way of giving a voice to the Mexican American community over what many considered to be heavy-handed and oppressive policing. The group began its continuing tradition of meeting every Wednesday morning as a sounding board of community concerns, as a solutions-oriented group of volunteers and as an advocate for the underrepresented, whether renters or workers or DREAMers.  Every guest will remember the experience of Amin’s funny, good-natured welcome:  his signature “yo-yo.”

To his critics he was unyielding, radical and abrasive.

But Amin will be remembered with affection, respect and gratitude by the thousands of people he helped, mentored and gave voice to.  He’ll be remembered for his courage, his eloquence and good humor.

He lived a life steeped in values and in virtue, in honesty and in authenticity. He taught us to have faith in our community’s ability to bring about change, hope for a better future and charity for those in need.

Amin, who was a member of St. Anthony Claret Catholic Church, is survived by his wife Irene; children Lisa, Amin H., David and Christina; and seven grandchildren.

This Sunday, October 2, 2016 from 2pm – 4pm at the Anaheim High School Cook Auditorium, Los Amigos of OC, along with over 20 community partner organizations, is hosting a public memorial to recognize and celebrate the Life & Legacy of Amin David. The event is free and open to the public.  Anaheim High School is located on 811 W. Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92805.  Parking is also free in the school parking off West St.

Los Amigos of Orange County

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears@voiceofoc.org

  • BeeBee.BeeLeaves

    Missed. A lot. Thank you! May Good prevail.

  • David Zenger

    Sadly, an all-too rare voice of honesty in Anaheim.