Friday, October 28, 2011

Former New Jersey PIRG activist Rob Stuart dies at 49

We are sad to learn today that environmental activist Rob Stuart, who got his start in New Jersey with the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and later moved on to causes in the city of Philadelphia, suffered a heart attack and died Wednesday at the age of 49.

Rob is pictured, left, at a 1990 ceremony to mark the signing of the N.J. Clean Water Enforcement Act. Then NJ Gov. Jim Florio, who signed the legislation into law, is seated at right.

In an obituary written for the Philadelphia Inquire, Miriam Hill writes that, from 2006 to 2009,  as president of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Rob was a constant presence in City Hall as he lobbied for progressive causes, from opposing drilling in the Marcellus Shale to bringing bicycle cabs to Philadelphia.

"He was like the 18th member of City Council," said Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., who eulogized Mr. Stuart Thursday.

Phil Goldsmith, a former city managing director, worked with Mr. Stuart at CeasefirePA, which aims to reduce trafficking in illegal guns. He praised Mr. Stuart's foresight and passion.

"He was a tireless and optimistic social entrepreneur," Goldsmith said. "I didn't always understand his ideas, but I always knew it was something to make the city a better place to live."

Rob did technology and political consulting for various companies before founding his communications firm, Evolve Strategies, in 2006.

You'll learn more about by reading the Inquirer obituary and this Daily News piece.

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