Last month, Washington Community Action Network (CAN) lost a good friend. Aaron Robert Kathman passed away from heart complications in Spokane. Aaron was 39. Here at Washington CAN, we knew him as a champion who fought for many issues that work to bring justice to marginalized communities. Here are some of the thoughts of Washington CAN’s leaders who fought alongside Aaron:
“Aaron was natural community organizer, he volunteered many hours on issues close to his values. Immigration Reform, criminal justice system reform, access to affordable dental and health care. He was a gentle soul, always ready to lend a hand. He would travel to Olympia to lobby his legislators on the issues he cared about. I will miss his calm and friendly way to advocate for those who needed the most.”Mauricio Ayon, Political Director
“Aaron was a special person. During his time with Washington CAN!, Aaron was always one of the first people I’d look for when we’d have statewide events that brought our membership together. He was a kind, soft-spoken gentleman who was quick to treat you like family. Aaron made an immense contribution to the movement. He spoke up and shared his story when needed, but he wasn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves and get the dirty work done. Often times, his roles in the protests themselves were just a small fraction of the work he put in. Aaron spent countless hours phone banking, writing talking points, creating signs, editing video, and doing the million other tasks it takes to organize a direct action. Without a doubt, Aaron left this world a better place. While my heart aches at the loss, I can’t help but be thankful for the honor to know such a wonderful man. We will keep up the fight with Aaron in our hearts.”Chris Genese, Organizing Director
“Aaron was a warm and loving person. He burned with a fire for justice and shared his strength and boundless energy to bring change for those who are forgotten and abused. He was invaluable as a leader with the Leadership Council and as an inspiration for Washington Community Action Network. The world will be darker without his light. I will miss him.”Deana Knutsen, Washington CAN Board President
A memorial to celebrate Aaron Robert Kathman’s life will take place on Saturday, April 2 at 3p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane
4340 W. Fort Wright Drive
Rest in peace, Aaron