Dona Spring Dies

Ah, shit. Dona Spring, who has been a critical part of the progressive wing of the Berkeley City Council since 1992, has died after a decades-long battle with rheumatoid arthritis. We’ve been watching Spring represent central/downtown Berkeley since 1995, fighting knockdown dragouts with then-mayor Shirley Dean, building a base of progressive and neighborhood politics on the council, and growing into an inspirational figure for both the Green Party and disabled rights activists around the country. She could be a real knucklehead sometimes; shortly after 9/11, Spring opposed the bombing of Afghanistan and told the Daily Californian that the United States was a “terrorist country.” The remark triggered outrage around the country, and the city council was flooded with hate mail and death threats; Spring always insisted that the Daily Cal misquoted her, but we never really bought that. Still, Spring worked endlessly on both lefty and bread-and-butter issues for her constituents, despite the pain and growing disability that progressively destroyed her body. She was an exemplar of a certain earnestness still living on in a cynical age. Hail and farewell.

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