The father of a woman killed by a falling tree at the height of Hurricane Sandy himself died on Thursday, according to reports.
Jon Kest, a prominent social justice activist, died on December 5 at the age of 57. News reports said that he was diagnosed with cancer over the summer. His daughter, Jessie Streich-Kest, died along with her friend Jacob Vogelman while walking with her dog in Brooklyn at the height of the storm on October 29.
Kest was the executive director of New York Communities for Change and the former director of New York ACORN. He was a leading official in the Working Families Party, a New York City third party, and a senior advisor to Mark Green’s 2001 New York City mayoral campaign.
New York elected officials issued a handful of statements mourning Kest’s death. In an email, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wrote, “It’s not an exaggeration to say that there have been few efforts to empower poor and working people in New York State in the last 25 years that haven’t borne his imprint.”
Congresman Jerry Nadler, who represents New York’s Upper West Side, wrote: “Everyone who worked with him knew well his toughness, dedication and compassion.”
A funeral for Kest will be held Sunday at the UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, at 10:30 AM.
Friends of the family did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.