[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n July 16, 2011, Mikey Chapman, the original support staff person of the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) passed away.
For the past 20 years, Mikey committed his time, energy and skills to building a social justice movement, first in San Francisco and for the past six years, nationally with WRAP.
Mikey was proud to be identified as an important part of these efforts. He didn’t do it as a job. He got up and volunteered his time every day for all these years because it was who he was.
You never saw him on TV or leading a march or a meeting, but he did the quiet things that keep the movement running: answering phones, tabulating people’s feedback from our outreach, greeting people as they came into the Coalition on Homelessness, doing data entry, making sure there were food and blankets and anything else people needed.
But driving was the thing he loved to do most, and that he was the best at. Better than anyone else. This was what scared him most when he began to experience a series of strokes in mid-July — the partial loss of vision. He couldn’t imagine not being able to be the courier/messenger/ferryman that he was, and that he knew we needed.
He was doing exactly what he chose to do every day and he was able to sleep well knowing in his heart that no one ever was harmed by what he did. He never had to lie, and never even thought about cheating. He lived by a code of honor, the kind of honor that outlaws and outlier’s hold, where no written contract is needed, and a person’s word is true.
He lived this with a loyal, unshakable faith for those he trusted, those who lived outside the bounds of “normal” society. He was proud and doing what he wanted, so therefore he could always just be exactly who he was. And he was very, very, very happy about that fact.
His short life impacted thousands of people, and he is loved by hundreds of us who were lucky enough to have him in our lives.
We will miss him dearly and carry on his fighting spirit.