Resting in Power: Labor-Sponsored Remembrance of Mike Kinslow Today at 4 at OC Labor Fed HQ

Mike with Water Birthday Cake in Brea

Mike Kinslow in civilian clothes at a fast for immigrant rights on Brea’s Birch Street. Mike is holding his birthday “cake” made up of taped together water bottles — perfect for the birthday where someone is fasting. Left to right, Mike is surrounded by: Arnel Dino, your faithful author, Josie Diamond (“baker” of the above cake), Jeff LeTourneau, Onassis Yumul, and Gloria Alvarado — all part of (or now married into) the DPOC.

The Orange County Labor Federation will be hosting a Remembrance (which I suspect means something like a non-alcoholic wake, but we’ll see soon enough) for Michael Kinslow from 4:00-7:00 p.m. today at its headquarters, 309 North Rampart Street, Orange, CA 92868.  Mike had a lot of causes in his political life — fighting sexual abuse, supporting immigration and disability rights, and supporting the military and the homeless were among them, as if being a brash and proud Irish Celt counts as political, then that too — but his commitment to labor issues was in the top tier.  We’ll have some photos from the event later this evening.

I think that the invitation can be made public at this point, so:

Fellow Democrats,
It is with great sadness that the Democratic Party of Orange County announces the untimely passing of one of its own.
Last Friday, December 26, Michael Kinslow passed away after a battle with cancer.  He was a member of our Central Committee, Executive Board and was vice-President of the Canyon Democrats.
You are cordially invited to a remembrance for Michael on Tuesday, January 6th from 4:00pm – 7:00pm at the Orange County Labor Federation (309 North Rampart Street, Orange, CA 92868).

Mike’s wife Georgie won’t be able to attend today, but she did want to invite people to contribute to Mike’s last cause: fighting pancreatic cancer.  She sent around this letter to DPOC members last week — and this seems like a good time to publish it:

I want to thank each and every one of you who have reached out to Michael and me over these past few weeks and months as we embarked on what was to become our last journey together.  It ended entirely too soon, and we were not able to check off all the boxes, but our journey was full of blessings and many silver linings for which we are eternally grateful.  Many of you played a part in making that possible, so thank you.  Michael prayed regularly that he might have a “good death.”  Rest assured that in his final moments, Michael was surrounded by his family, and he went bravely and peacefully to join his father and brother in Heaven while I cradled him in my arms… just as he prayed.

I have received several phone calls and messages inquiring about the upcoming Remembrance the DPOC has scheduled for January 6th.  While we appreciate, deeply, the DPOC’s desire to hold a Remembrance for Michael, I do need to clarify that this event was planned and scheduled without inclusion from our family.  Nor were we included on the e-mail recipient list.  Therefore, none of us will be able to attend.  But I do encourage all of you to attend in Michael’s honor ~ laugh, cry and reflect on the lasting role he played in the causes near and dear to his heart, many of which you all shared.  Celebrate him well, as he would have wanted.

One of the issues that he felt so strongly about was Immigration Reform.  I can tell you it was with great pride and joy that he watched the President’s Immigration Action Address on November 21st from his room at the hospital.  Afterward, Michael became sad thinking that he would not be able to see it through to the end, but I reminded him that he was there to plant the seeds, cultivate the soil and tend to its roots as the movement grew from the ground up… and therefore his efforts would have a lasting impact.  He really liked that imagery.

The Remembrance Announcement which was disseminated requested that cards and condolences be sent to me at our home… but Michael and I had another wish.  We would ask that in lieu of flowers, cards and condolences, please consider making a donation in Michael’s Honor or Memory to the following charitable organization as part of their “Cure PC” campaign (see below).  We felt strongly about this due, in part, because Pancreatic Cancer is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and is one of the nation’s deadliest cancers with a five-year relative survival rate of just 6 percent.  Sadly, an estimated 73 percent of patients will die in the first year of diagnosis.

Michael was told that with treatment he could have up to a year.  He desperately wanted his year… he fought valiantly for that year… he boldly took the most aggressive form of chemotherapy available in order to help give him that year.  And despite that battle, our Celtic Crusader had only a few short months.

The Lustgarten Foundation

1111 Stewart Avenue, Bethpage, New York 11714

Toll Free: 1-866-789-1000 P: 516-803-2304 F: 516-803-2303

Please visit: www.lustgarten.org (or) www.curepc.org for additional information or to make a donation.

There will be a Memorial for Michael in accordance with his hands-on planning (yes, even in illness he had his hands in everything he could!).  This private Memorial will take place the weekend of January 17-18, and will be by invitation only due to space limitations.  Because of that, I take great comfort in the fact that all of you will be able to celebrate Michael’s life at the Remembrance on the 6th, and hopefully continue to be inspired to share in his activism and his pursuits of social justice.

I pray you will find closure and peace (as I do) in the fact that he is not only with his Heavenly Father, but now he is also reunited with the father and brother he lost in early childhood, whom he yearned for his entire life.  For fifteen years he was my best friend, my great love and my fierce warrior… So now it’s his turn to rest in power, love and peace while the rest of us take care of the garden. Until we meet again, my beloved Anam Cara… it truly was more than enough.

For those of you wanting to join with others in Labor or in Democratic Blue, or just those who loved Mike — see you there tonight.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)