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Green Party of California

California Green Party Mourns Loss of Progressive Activist and Scholar; Died of West Nile Virus Friday

For immediate release: Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Tom Bolema, 661-943-0676,

LOS ANGELES The Green Party of California lost an ardent advocate, organizer and social engineer last Friday (8/20/04).

Claremont resident Walter Sheasby, who ran four times for public office and served as editor for "Capitalism Nature Socialism," died of West Nile Virus infection after being hospitalized since August 10.

"There was a bitter irony to Walt's death," wrote colleague Joel Kovel in a memorial statement, "as he succumbed at age 62 to complications of West Nile Virus, one of the rogue pathogens kicked into orbit by the destabilization of the ecological crisis against which he focused his formidable talent in the later years of his life."

"I remember Walt from the early days," said Green Party of California Secretary of State liaison Jim Stauffer. "We were trying to get it together as an organization, and he was already an accomplished political organizer with many contacts in the progressive community around LA."

Sheasby ran for political office as a Green Party candidate four times; the first time in 1992, when the fledgling Green Party gained ballot status. Two of the four races were against Republican Congressman David Dreier in the 28th Congressional District.

"He had the guts to run in an area that was not the most Green-friendly in the state," Santa Monica City Councilman and Green Party member Michael Feinstein told the Inland Valley Bulletin.

Sheasby previously served as a Green Party/Los Angeles County council member and most recently as a California state delegate to the national convention in Milwaukee in June.

Associate Hilary Cable termed Sheasby's death "a great loss to the cause of decency and humanism in California politics."

"Scornful of ordinary success and worldly comfort," wrote Kovel, "he lived for the cause, dividing his efforts between ceaseless activism and organization on the one hand, and the scholarship he loved above all on the other."


The Green Party of California
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437