A Passing in the DeKalb Democratic Party

Image may contain: 2 people, people smilingSandra Austin, chairwoman of the DeKalb Democratic Party, died at home this morning. She was 69.

Austin won re-election to a fifth two-year term as chairwoman in December, and was also serving as vice president of the Georgia Association of Democratic County Chairs.

“We have lost a gentle giant,” said state senator Gail Buckner.

She made a little news this summer, when her grandson Kendall Austin, 18, of Decatur, earned a seat as the youngest Georgia delegate at the Democratic National Convention.

Austin, herself, had been a delegate to the 2008 convention in Denver, and had previously served on the Democratic National Committee and in various roles at the local level.

The county party membership had begun a resurgence after the November election, with local progressive voters looking for an avenue to organize and to create change. Postings on Georgia Pantsuit Nation and elsewhere attracted dozens of new people to party meetings in December and January. Empty posts for party officials are being filled.

It’s a sensitive time to sustain a loss.

Funeral arrangements are pending.