NELP Mourns the Passing of Paul Booth

The National Employment Law Project deeply mourns the sudden death last night of Paul Booth, a tireless advocate and great AFSCME leader who, over a long and visionary career, never stopped fighting for working people.

Paul and the love of his life, Heather, gave tirelessly of themselves to the unfinished business of building a fairer, more inclusive and progressive nation that will one day deliver on its promise of equality and justice for all. Their boundless energy and incomparable talents inspired generations of activists, sustained us in dark periods, enriched all the great movements of their lifetimes, and propelled us all to act. To top it off, Paul’s effervescence, wicked good humor, and zest for life were infectious, bringing us laughter and joy even in the most trying moments.

This is one of those moments, and we need him now. Paul Booth was a mensch. We will always love him, always revere him, and always draw inspiration from his example in our own fight for all working people. Shortly before his death, Paul reminded friends that although, as Dr. King taught, the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice, “It’s up to us to do the bending.”

Paul—and Heather—inspired and empowered armies of arc-benders, including many of us at NELP. Like the two of them—and especially now, in Paul’s memory and honor—we will never stop bending that arc.

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Christine L. Owens

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