A lifelong political and social activist, Tim led PDA as National Director from the organization's launch in 2004 at Roxbury, Massachusetts until his death in the early morning hours on Monday, April 28.
Tim's work with PDA capped a career of activism for environmental protection, peace and disarmament, healthcare for all, campaign finance and election reform, social and economic justice, equalty and much more. He advocated for progressive change on local and national TV and radio programs, at countless events, and as a lead organizer in several candidate and issue campaigns from coast-to-coast. He was a trusted confidant to members of Congress, especially to members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).
CPC Co-chair Representative Keith Ellison wrote, "[I am] Deeply saddened by the passing of my friend Tim Carpenter. He was a champion and a big thinker who didn't know how to quit. When faced with an impossible task, Tim showed the kind of determination and courage that was contagious. This winter the Progressive Caucus gave him the Activist of the Year Award for his lifelong dedication to improving people's lives. My thoughts are with his family, especially his wife and loving daughters. No one can ever replace him."
CPC Co-chair Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, wrote, "I am deeply saddened by Tim Carpenter's passing this morning. My thoughts and those of my family are with his wife and daughters today. Tim was a friend and a true progressive champion. He believed in a world where people work together for the common good, and he made countless lives better by acting on that belief. Where others saw walls, Tim saw mountains to climb, and he never seemed to stop climbing. It was a joy and an honor to fight alongside him. His spirit will never be forgotten, and neither will his good works."
Representative Jim McGovern said, “I considered Tim a dear and treasured friend. He was a passionate fighter for peace and justice and all causes that are good. He was a remarkable person with a spine of steel and heart of gold.”
Even during his most difficult battles with melanoma, pneumonia, and other illness, Tim maintained a vigorous schedule, traveling from his Massachusetts home to Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, North Carolina, and elsewhere, as well as his frequent meetings in Washington, D.C. He continued his hands-on leadership of PDA, working with the PDA national staff and PDA volunteers nationwide working on issue advocacy, candidate endorsements, and movement building.
Tim was an organizer for the presidential campaigns of Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1988, and Gov. Jerry Brown in 1992. He served as deputy campaign manager for Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign in 2004. Tim addressed the 1992 Democratic National Convention, as a national Convention delegate. He was named Democrat of the Year in Northampton, MA, and Progressive Activist of the Year by the Nation magazine, and--as Rep. Ellison noted--by the CPC as well.
PDA released a statement to its supporters today: "Tim Carpenter was a great organizer. He built PDA from an idea to an organization about to mark its 10th anniversary. He opposed war, spending much of his youth in nonviolent civil disobedience. He lifted up the inside/outside strategy, to strengthen grassroots movements and links with progressive Congressional leaders and staff responsible for turning agitation into legislation. Tim loved his wife and his two wonderful daughters dearly. He loved grassroots organizing, he loved roaming the halls of Congress, and he loved PDA. We will miss him dearly."