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    Remembering Progressive Icon and Longtime Democratic Party Activist Jane Morrison (1920–2020)

    Tributes continue to pour in for longtime Democratic Party activist and legendary San Francisco progressive Jane Morrison, who died earlier this month. As the last post on her Facebook page reads: “Farewell, Jane Morrison. Declaring your independence from our troubled planet on the Fourth of July.”

    She had reached a personal goal just a few months prior, when on April 17, she turned 100 years old. The City declared it to be Jack and Jane Morrison Day, given that both Jane and her late husband—a former San Francisco Supervisor—helped to define San Francisco civic and political life for the past seven decades.

    Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who spearheaded the resolution for Jane (who often called Mandelman her “favorite”), wrote that she was his favorite. He shared that she began her career in journalism in the 1950s, but that most of us came to know her as the consummate Democratic Party activist. Consider that she was:

    • a volunteer for Adlai Stevenson’s campaign for president in 1952;
    • a delegate to the 1960 and 1964 Democratic National Conventions;
    • the women’s chair of the California Democratic Party;
    • chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party from 2002 to 2004;
    • and, as Mandelman wrote, she served on and led “a too-lengthy-to-recite list of other political, governmental, and nonprofit boards and commissions.”

    She was a fierce advocate, disciplined organizer, and prodigious fundraiser for hundreds—maybe more than hundreds!—of progressive candidates and causes, he added. This is not even getting into her prior successful work as a newspaper editor for the Associated Press; instructor of broadcasting at San Francisco State University, the University of San Francisco, and City College of San Francisco; and as the manager of public affairs programming at KNBR-NBC radio.

    Upon learning of her passing, Mandelman wrote: “You wanted to make it to 100, and so you did, plus a bit more. Rest in Power, you dear dear badass of a woman.”

    Published on July 16, 2020