Alvin Shim, (b.1923 in Honolulu - d.2006), a labor attorney, member of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.
A Honolulu Advertiser article at the advent of Shim's death describe the kind of man Shim was:
- "He was a visionary, a mover and an individual who was articulate in gaining support for important issues for the community and especially for the Hawaiian community," said Winona Rubin, a community leader who along with Shim was one of the six co-founders of Alu Like, a nonprofit service organization for Hawaiians.
- Shim, originally of Wailuku, Maui, died Saturday at Kuakini Medical Center. He was 82.
- A graduate of Kamehameha Schools, the University of Hawai'i and George Washington University, Shim was an active participant in the Democratic revolution in 1954 and went on to become a prominent labor attorney and mediator.
- Russell Okata, executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, said he got to know Shim as the union's attorney, but over the years Shim also became his mentor and friend.
- He was also a friend to unions and working families, representing hotel and teamsters unions and administering their health and welfare trust funds.
- "He probably could be called the father of our benefits," Okata said. "Today unionized workers enjoy that protection because Alvin felt that wages were important, but also health benefits and a pension when you retire."
- Shim was known as an effective mediator, helping smooth things between parties regardless of whether he had an interest in their issues.
- "Alvin's thing was that there's no right or wrong; your point is as important as mine," Okata said.
- Ray Tam, who was Shim's law partner at Shim, Tam, Kirimitsu, Kitamura & Chang for more than 20 years, described his colleague as a humanitarian and peacemaker.
- "He used to mediate so many things privately between legislators, businesses, unions. ... Our office used to have so many people coming in who had problems and he would always help to resolve them. He was a peacemaker."
- Dick Kosaki, who worked in the Legislative Reference Bureau while Shim was chief attorney for the state House of Representatives, said Shim played a key role in drafting bills. "What he was really trying to do was help the common man, the man on the street," Kosaki said.
- When the Democrats came to power, Shim focused on writing bills to address a range of societal problems. "He was one of a kind, a compassionate soul who likes to think outside of the box," Kosaki said.