It was with sadness that I read of the passing of Bob Novick on Wednesday, February 3rd in “The Oregonian”. Bob Novick was the third, in my memory, SEIU 503 (at that time Oregon Public Employees Union) statewide Forestry Local organizer and one of the more influential. It might have been that we were in one of those leadership transitioning periods or there was a great sense of hope of what lay ahead. Whatever it was Bob was there as a guide, like he had some idea of what was around the next corner.
Bob was a fully rounded Organizer, his wings had not been clipped and he soared. Then an Organizer was expected to bargain contracts, represent someone at at discipinary hearings (when a Steward was not available), organize new members and share information about greater Union operations. Bob performed all of those jobs in that simpler time when friends were those you knew from meetings and actions. At meetings he was always surrounded by others and involved in livley discussion. He gave me the idea of what an activist is.
Steve Novick, Portland City Commissioner noted that his father instilled “good-quality left-wing politics”, to that I would add, something that his father, my organizer, said following a march “the action is always at the front” and that is where Bob could usually be found.