Feb 4, 2016

A Vacancy In Allentown's Democracy

When I ran for office in 2014, I asked Michael Donovan to serve on my vacancy committee, an obscure requirement for independents. He kindly accepted. Michael knew of such things, because he had run the year before as an independent for mayor. Michael and I became acquainted about a decade ago, both as advocates for a better city. Although Michael was a liberal democrat, and I am anything but, we found many common denominators.

While Michael became somewhat critical of the NIZ this past year, as a former city councilman he never regretted voting for it. He believed that it still has the potential for community benefit, to help Allentown's underclass. Until just a few weeks ago, we would often discuss local current events over coffee in the morning. Although he was fighting a progressively aggressive illness, this past summer he made a cross country motor trip to visit his sons.

Michael was a dedicated college professor and a proud father. His optimism and energy, even while fighting cancer, spoke volumes about his character. His passing leaves a void in Allentown's democracy.

photographed at The Epicenter


LVCI said...

"this past summer he made a cross country motor trip to visit his sons."

I followed him on his new blog and was amazed at his determination & fight against his affliction. Although gentle spoken and mild mannered it was then I realized what a strong and determined will this man possessed inside.

I'm not sure I would have his strength if I ever were unfortunate enough to find myself suffering the afflictions he faced. That is a part of his character that I admired most. He gave it a good fight. Not all of us have that inside. It a shame he had to endure what he had to go through these last two years. It's my hopes he's is in a much better place. My best thoughts and wishes as well.

alfonso todd said...

Good men like him are a rare breed.

Alfonso Todd

Unknown said...

A lovely piece.

This article is a model for how people could relate to each other--to speak kindly and sincerely of each other while we are alive to hear it.

Chris said...

Well-said. God bless you, Michael Donovan.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Very fitting tribute, MM.

Anonymous said...

In this time of gloom a bright and shining light has been extinguished.
Such a loss.

Bill said...

A fitting tribute and I agree with 9:03 - if we could all be a little bit more like Michael we would get more accomplished

Ned Donovan said...

Reading these words, both the articles I find, and the comments left, are some of the most amazing parts of dealing with this loss. I can't thank you all enough for your friendship to my father, and the honoring you have been giving him over the last few days.

His service will be Saturday, at 11am at The Liberty Bell Church (Zion's Reformed United Church of Christ), I hope to meet you all.