Karen Hobert Flynn

Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn speaks during an October 3, 2017 demonstration against partisan gerrymandering in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images)

Progressives Mourn Karen Hobert Flynn—Among Democracy's 'Fiercest Defenders'

"Her tireless work on behalf of women, workers, and marginalized communities will have a lasting impact," said End Citizens United.

Progressive groups and activists showed an outpouring of love and admiration for Karen Hobert Flynn, the president of Common Cause, after her death from an undisclosed cause was reported by the pro-democracy group on Friday.

Hobert Flynn, who joined Common Cause in 1985 as an organizer and program director, was named president of the watchdog in 2016 after serving as executive director and chair of the group's Connecticut branch.

"Today, democracy lost one of its fiercest defenders: Karen Hobert Flynn," Common Cause board chair Martha Tierney said in a statement.

"A trailblazer and powerful advocate, Karen dedicated her career to reforming our government so it served everyone," Tierney noted. "Under her leadership of Common Cause in Connecticut, she secured landmark reforms—including winning Connecticut's groundbreaking full public finance system, numerous ethics laws, and disclosure laws."

Tierney continued:

During turbulent times for our country and our organization, she led Common Cause with tenacity and grace, never backing down from holding the White House accountable and never losing sight of the non-partisan vision for a more inclusive and representative democracy...

In her last year of life, she led a national coalition in the fight to protect and strengthen the right to vote for all and oversaw the largest national non-partisan election protection program for the 2022 midterms. Within Common Cause, she started the 50-year-old organization's process to become a more equitable workplace and doubled down on the commitment to secure an inclusive democracy for all.

"May her memory give us strength as together we carry forward her legacy of fighting for a government that lives up to the ideals of its people," Tierney added.

Other progressives also remembered Hobert Flynn's life and work.

"Such devastating news today with the loss of Common Cause's Karen Hobert Flynn," wrote Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington president Noah Bookbinder. "A great person and a fierce leader in the fight for democracy. Heartbreaking."

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights tweeted that "we're so deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Karen Hobert Flynn—a brilliant leader, dedicated advocate, and fierce defender of our democracy."

The National Disability Rights Network hailed Hobert Flynn as "a fierce civic advocate" who "will be missed by friends, family, and all who fight to make our democracy stronger."

End Citizens United remembered a "remarkable individual who touched the lives of so many in the fight to protect democracy."

"Her tireless work on behalf of women, workers, and marginalized communities will have a lasting impact," the group added.

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