On October 23, after a 20-month battle with ovarian cancer, our friend, sister activist, humanitarian Robin Latta Tweedy passed on. Many PAR readers knew her and worked alongside her for years in numerous campaigns for peace, disability rights, affordable housing, universal single-payer healthcare, prison reform, immigrant rights, etc.
Although Robin lived in Branford, she was often in New Haven to be part of rallies and actions. Through the years she would buy PAR subscriptions for friends so they could learn more about the various struggles of the activist communities and find opportunities to become involved.
Robin was a pace-setter, one of the first women to work at United Illuminating, first as a meter reader, and later in “the Underground.” The men on her job learned that their chauvinism was no longer to be tolerated. Thank you, Robin, for making the way easier for all the women who followed you in the previously-called “non-traditional jobs.”
She later got a degree in social work, and merged her career with her concerns for bettering people’s lives and fighting for justice.
When her parents could no longer care for themselves in Florida, she moved them to her home and was the caregiver for them both. She will always be remembered for her love, sense of justice, and willingness to help people on all levels.
When Mary Johnson, one of PAR’s founding members, was in CT Hospice in March, 2016, Robin asked for, and received, permission to have an International Women’s Day party there. Because of Robin’s stellar idea, twenty people celebrated International Women’s Day with Mary (who was discharged from Hospice later that week and lived until August, 2017).
Robin led the Coalition for People’s campaign in demanding the main branch of the New Haven Library do the necessary upkeep for the handicapped-accessible bathrooms, and that they also remove the extra set of very heavy glass doors that were in front of the wheelchair-accessible doorway.
Robin was part of Fight the Hike, which demanded an end to exorbitant electric rates. She met with Branford legislators as well as state legislators, and presented testimony in public hearings in Hartford, often referring to corporations’ practices of waste and ineptitude that she witnessed when she worked at United Illuminating.
Robin was also a dedicated animal lover and had a number of pets. For years she rescued feral cats and found homes for them. Robin believed every creature deserved a home, comfort and love.
She was a supporter of union struggles, demonstrated in peace rallies, stood up to racists, fought for justice, and in all ways loved being an activist. She took part in the weekly vigil of the New Haven Peace Council with activist Jim Pandaru. We at PAR thank Jim for allowing us to reprint his condolences when he learned of Robin’s passing.
We are heartbroken to learn that Robin, our dear friend, sister activist, and a uniquely spiritual human being, has passed away. I believe that the sad emptiness we now feel without her presence will soon be replaced by all the wonderful memories and her lasting legacy of who she was and what she stood for in life. Carrying on where Robin left off will be a lasting tribute to her.
We in the Peace Council will surely miss her friendship and unwavering commitment, presence and camaraderie in helping us distribute flyers at our Friday vigils every single week for over two years before COVID-19 hit. May she rest in peace and her memory be eternal.
At this time the date for a memorial gathering has not been finalized.
Her husband James Tweedy predeceased her. Our condolences to Robin’s sister, Pat Latta of Thornton, Colorado, dear friends Debbie Elkin and Janis Underwood, devoted caretakers of her cats (and of Robin) Jennifer Ford and Gary Cimmino, and all who knew and loved her.