My friend Steve Kindred passed away last month from cancer.
This has been quite a personal loss to me, and I know it is to many of you as well, because Steve was known and loved by many TDU members and supporters.
Steve was a founder of TDU. Not just a founder, but one of initial spark plugs for this movement. He put his whole self into our cause: his ideas, his energy, and his heart.
Steve and I were friends since the early 1970s. We were partners in starting TDU. He would come to my house almost daily and raid the fridge while bringing fresh reports or ideas. I was the steady-eddy organizer, and Steve was the proselytizer and recruiter. He went on the road once in 1976 with a suitcase full of peanuts as his fuel, and came back with lots of new contacts and supporters. There are dozens of stories like that about Steve.
Steve loved to talk with anyone. He did most of the talking but was also a good learner. He could sit in a truck stop and meet strangers and come back with TDU applications filled in. His father was a preacher and it showed. If his grandfather had been a wobbly, that would have been even more appropriate. Steve was a great wobbly organizer.
To this day, many in TDU talk about how Steve recruited them, always with a good story and fond memories and commitment. For many of them, he changed their lives.
Steve wanted to change the world, from the bottom up, with an abiding faith that ordinary people can make it happen. He wanted to leave the world better than he found it. He did that, and he enriched my life and that of everyone who knew him.
Some of Steve's friends in the union reform movement have asked us about giving donations in his name. All donations to the Steve Kindred Memorial Fund will go to helping provide scholarships for young, emerging rank-and-file leaders to attend the TDU Convention this November.
A memorial service will be held in New York City, Saturday, February 8th.
Steve Kindred Memorial Service
Saturday, February 8th 4:00PM
The Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies
CUNY School of Professional Studies
25 West 43rd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
New York City