Arlington Greens are mourning the death of prominent Green and talented jazz musician Don Rouse, who passed away on Tuesday, September 10. A long time resident of Arlington County and retired government employee, Rouse was a party activist and ardent supporter of the Move to Amend resolution, which was adopted by the Green Party of Virginia in 2012 in the wake of the 2010 Citizens United decision, that all but eliminated the prospects for advancement of third parties in the United States.
At his memorial service on September 14, Arlington Green Josh Ruebner commented on Don’s political involvement with the Green Party. In particular he mentioned that when he learned a year ago that DHS had labeled the Green Party a subversive organization, Don commented on a Reston TV show: “I didn’t know that participation in civic life was a subversive activity.”
I remember with fondness Don’s willingness to do party work before his health failed, including petitioning, putting up yard signs and hosting party meetings at his home. In fact the last time I saw Don was the 2012 post-election party that he so generously hosted. Don also contributed generously to my campaigns for Arlington County Board and continued to give even after he was no longer able to participate in party affairs.
Arlington Greens have lost a champion in Don Rouse but have gained a role model.