In Memoriam – Jon KestDecember 6, 2012 No Comments
ANHD mourns the loss of Jon Kest, the Executive Director of New York Communities for Change, who passed away yesterday after battling cancer. John’s loss – and the pain we feel for his family – is made more acute because Jon lost his daughter, a young Brooklyn public school teacher, during a tragic accident caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Jon was a longtime collaborator with ANHD and our member groups. But collaborator may be understating it. As Executive Director of ACORN (which recently became New York Communities for Change), Jon was a crucial ally, and sometimes the hidden force on many of the battles that we fought. Jon is best known for the low-wage worker organizing that New York Communities for Change championed, including the recent car-wash worker organizing campaign victories and the inspiring, just- announced campaign to win decent wages for fast-food workers.
But we knew Jon best as a key participant in affordable housing battles, using all the tools he had built – the grassroots force of ACORN, the political strength of the Working Families Party – as well as his own incomparable smarts, indomitable will, and relentless work ethic, to fight for affordable housing for working New Yorkers. Defending rent regulation, stopping destructive zoning changes, pushing the City to invest in new affordable housing, battle after battle, year after year. Our city is a better place because of Jon. Rest in peace.new blog posts