It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of our partner and COO, Ann Marie Habershaw. Over the last few months, she fought a fierce battle with cancer and died unexpectedly yesterday from complications. To the end, she remained consistently concerned with the welfare of others, not wanting anyone to worry about her. Our thoughts are with AMH’s partner, Patrick, and the whole Habershaw family.
Much is said these days about the wellbeing of campaign staff — the need to ensure campaigns operate professionally and respectfully such that their teams can resemble the communities they wish to serve. Over the last two decades, no one has done more to advance this cause than Ann Marie. She is an unsung hero of the progressive movement, having helped modernize the core organizations of the Democratic Party such as Emily’s List, the DCCC, DNC, and the Obama campaign. She was the first to always assume the hardest task, rolling up her sleeves to get the job done.
When she was considering joining BPI after the re-elect, what surprised us most was that despite all her accomplishments, the thing she was most excited about was the opportunity to work alongside and mentor our young staff. In doing so, she quickly became the core of BPI, the foundation on which everything was based and that we all counted on. She pushed us hard, and hardest of all to do what was right. When faced with a tough decision, we need only ask, “what would AMH do.” And judging from the outpouring of support this morning, her impact and famously direct approach will not soon be forgotten.
Well, today, AMH would smile and tell us to keep our chins up and get back to work. For once, perhaps, we won’t listen. Instead, we hope you will take the time to share your best Ann Marie memories and call up an old friend. She might also suggest a large glass of wine. She was, is, and always will be a friend and we miss her.
We will share further information about services and ways to support both her family and her legacy as they are available.
UPDATE: The outpouring of love and support following Ann Marie’s passing is nothing short of unbelievable — it’s a testament to the lives that she impacted. The family recognizes the strong desire of her community to come together. The following events are being planned:
- The family will hold a small, private viewing in the next week.
2. There will be a public Catholic Mass funeral held in Washington, DC. Please find details below.
- Date: Thursday, September 27
- Time: 10:00–11:00 am
- Location: Cathedral of Saint Matthew The Apostle, 1725 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
3. In the interim, the BPI family will open our doors for a casual gathering in the DC office for her friends, family and colleagues this coming Friday, September 21. As she would have appreciated, there will be plenty of California Cabernet. Please find details below.
- Date: Friday, September 21
- Time: 5:30 pm — 8:00 pm
- Location: 1445 New York Ave NW, Floor 5, Washington, DC 20005
4. A larger celebration and memorial around Ann Marie’s life and legacy is being planned in Washington, DC. Please find details below:
- Date: Wednesday, October 10
- Time: 5:30–8:00 pm
- Location: The Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse, 1356 Okie St NE, Washington, District of Columbia 20002
Please continue to share your memories with the #AMHSays hashtag. These are being populated on https://amhsays.com so it can be shared with her family.
At the request of her family, in lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the following in her honor:
- The Ann Marie Habershaw Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. Ann Marie Habershaw lived the values of the WCS school with a life dedicated to advancing women in politics. In her words, “Return to others the mentoring you received, share what you have learned with others, take the time to give honest and thoughtful advice to others along the way.”
- BUILD Metro DC, an organization using entrepreneurship to ignite the potential of youth from under-resourced communities and propel them to high school, college and career success. The organization is part of the Lever Fund portfolio, which Ann Marie co-founded and was a board member of.