Earlier this week, Washington’s progressive community lost a gifted activist and leader when Alex (Heather) Hendrickson, forty-two, died suddenly of a heart condition that also caused her mother’s death seven years ago.
Alex had just celebrated her forty-second birthday on December 7th.
A veteran of many campaigns — from Initiative 502 to Karen Fraser’s bid for Lieutenant Governor to Shari Song’s 2014 run for Washington State Senate — Alex was widely respected for her talents and dedication to progressive causes.
“Alex, in the time I knew her, was an Obama campaign organizer, chair of the 38th District Democrats (2011-12), manager of campaigns for Darcy Burner and Karen Fraser in Washington and most recently for Danner Kline in Alabama, as well as a PCO in Everett and Mukilteo,” her friend Jack Arends noted in a remembrance this morning. “She also was a member of the long line of graduates of the Institute for a Democratic Future and thus a student of Jason Bennett. Others can fill in the rest.”
“But Alex was so much more: She was a loving daughter and sister, a devoted mother to her daughter, Julia, and a generous and loyal friend to so many of us.”
“She could dazzle a room on formal occasions, but she was a frequent hockey buddy, too, quite at home in jeans and hoodie at the rink.”
“And I still shake my head in wonder at how she hooked up my TV: She had to climb onto a shelf, then crawl behind the TV. Houdini would be proud.”
A dear friend to many progressive candidates, activists, and campaign management professionals in our region, Alex leaves behind a young daughter, Julia Paige, who she wanted to go to college. A GoFundMe has been set up to raise funds for Julia, and if you’d like to contribute, you can do so at this link.
In appreciation and recognition of Alex’s service to progressive causes, our team at the Northwest Progressive Institute will be posthumously conferring upon her a Lynn Allen Award this Sunday, December 16th, at our Winter Holiday Party.
NPI established the Lynn Allen Awards last year to honor founding NPI boardmember and netroots pioneer Lynn Allen.
The Awards are the highest honor that NPI bestows. We confer them on up to two individuals per year who have made indispensable contributions to progressive causes. To date, three individuals have been honored with Lynn Allen Awards: attorney Paul Lawrence (2017), Sound Transit CEO Emeritus Joni Earl (2017), and Major General Paul Eaton, Retired (2018). Alex will be our fourth honoree.
Lynn would be proud that we are recognizing Alex for her good works.
Alex’s full given name was actually Heather Lynn Hendrickson, so she shares a special connection with our departed sister Lynn Allen.
The Awards we’ve named for Lynn are part of our efforts to keep her legacy alive.
Lynn believed in the important work of organizing rural communities and acting on issues of concern to people living far away from our big cities and urban areas. She believed in the politics of inclusion. As communications director of the Institute for Washington’s Future, she traveled regularly to Washington’s rural counties and small towns, championing sustainable business and agricultural practices.
A skilled facilitator and gifted listener, Lynn understood the importance of and need for effective activism. Not a day goes by when we don’t miss her.
And not a day will go by when those of us who knew Alex won’t miss her.
Thank you, Alex, for all you did, especially the behind-the-scenes work that most will never know about, but which has helped so many.
We will miss you, but you’ll never be forgotten.