Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President, passed away in March 2023.
Karen was a fearless, persistent advocate for a better democracy. She spent her entire life in public service, working for a principle that we will all keep striving for: that each of us matters, and that we all deserve a say in our future. - Common Cause.
Karen was also my friend and mentor.
Karen Hobert Flynn: a life well lived
“We have lost a great American and a great friend. We can honor her memory by fighting even harder for a stronger, more inclusive, and more robust democracy.” – Robert Reich, Common Cause Board Chair Emeritus and former U.S. Secretary of Labor
“Karen was a dedicated defender of democracy, whose principles and commitment to public service and public trust were unrivaled. Under her steadfast and unflinching leadership, Connecticut passed landmark public finance, ethics and disclosure laws that became a model for states across the nation. I am deeply saddened to learn of her passing and send my heartfelt condolences to her loved ones. Connecticut, and our nation, has lost a champion today.”-U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal
“Karen was a fierce public servant who dedicated her life to making our democracy fairer and more transparent. By shepherding Connecticut’s public financing system and disclosure laws, she made it possible for more people to get involved in the political process and created a model for states across the country. Her passing is a tremendous loss for Connecticut and the country.” –U.S. Senator Chris Murphy
“Karen spent her life devoted to making our democracy stronger and more inclusive for all. She was a creative and tenacious force who made Common Cause one of the nation’s most respected organizations fighting to preserve America’s democratic values. She helped secure important government reforms at the federal, state, and local levels and was a tireless champion to protect voting rights, limit the influence of money in politics, and promote ethical behavior in government. The nation owes Karen a debt of gratitude.”-Patrick Gaspard, President of the Center for American Progress
Common cause believes:
- The ultimate power in a democracy is the people.
- We can hold elected officials accountable, ensuring they play by the rules and work for all the people.
- In a government of, by, and for the people, not wealthy special interests.
- Everyone’s right to know who is influencing our government.
An inclusive democracy
A core principle of Common Cause, since its founding in 1970 is that as more eligible Americans participate, our democracy becomes stronger.
- In 1971, it led the campaign that won the 26th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, allowing 18 year-olds to vote.
- Common Cause is winning campaigns to modernize elections, making them more fair, secure, and accessible with automatic voter registration laws and same-day registration at polling places on Election Day. We are ensuring security and fairness at the ballot box by demanding paper back-ups and post-election risk-limiting audits to detect foul play early.
- Common Cause mobilized to expose the former President Trump administration’s corrupt practices and to prevent him and his cronies from profiting off his presidency which would degrade our democracy. That’s consistent with our past work bringing down Speaker of the House Jim Wright, D-TX, and countless state officials in both parties. In America, no one is above the law.
Take Away: Each of us matters, and that we all deserve a say in our future through a better democracy. Rest in peace, Karen.
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