Tuesday, 29 April 2014 17:18

Tim Carpenter, founder of Progressive Democrats of America, Northampton resident, died Monday after battle with cancer

Written by  Chad Cain
JASON PICARD Tim Carpenter (right) shares stories about refrigerator decorations with Dr. Jeff Zesiger M.D. in the Carpenter home, in Florence, on Wednesday, April 23rd JASON PICARD Tim Carpenter (right) shares stories about refrigerator decorations with Dr. Jeff Zesiger M.D. in the Carpenter home, in Florence, on Wednesday, April 23rd

NORTHAMPTON — Florence resident Tim Carpenter, a social and political activist known nationally for founding the Progressive Democrats of America, died Monday, just a few days shy of the group’s 10-year anniversary celebration in Northampton.

Carpenter spent more than 35 years working for peace, nuclear disarmament, single-payer health care, campaign finance reform and many more issues. He is a regular guest on TV and radio nationally and routinely worked with senators and congressman on a bevy of social justice issues.

Carpenter, 55, is survived by his wife, Barbara Considine, and their daughters, Sheila and Julia.

“I considered Tim a dear and treasured friend,” U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern said in a telephone interview from his Washington, D.C., office Tuesday. “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.”

Despite battling terminal melanoma, Carpenter kept up his busy work schedule as co-director of the Progressive Democrats of America. McGovern recalled spending time with Carpenter a couple months ago in Washington, where Carpenter was leading a conversation on alternative budgets and also lobbing senators and congressmen to cut the Pentagon’s budget, protect food stamps and more.

“He was in his typical very enthusiastic form,” McGovern said.

According to the Progressive Democrats’ website, Carpenter was an organizer for the presidential campaigns of Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1988 and Gov. Jerry Brown in 1992. He also served as deputy campaign manager in Dennis Kucinich’s run for president in 2004. A national Democratic National Convention delegate, Carpenter addressed the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

Carpenter was named Democrat of the Year in Northampton in 2007 and Progressive Activist of the Year by the Nation magazine.

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