- Chairs the Communist Party USA’s Women’s Equality Commission
- Protested in the 1980s against U.S. aid to the Nicaraguan Contras, who were engaged in combat against the Marxist Sandinistas
- Calls capitalism “an economic and social system that requires joblessness and homelessness, and that ignores and punishes the most vulnerable among us”
- Active member of the antiwar group Raging Grannies
- State board member of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Arizona chapter
- Worked vlosely with the community organization ACORN and the Service Employees International Union
- Active member of Health Care for America Now
Based in Tucson, Arizona, retired nurse Carolyn Trowbridge is a feminist, an immigrant-rights activist, and a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), whose Women’s Equality Commission she once chaired.
In the 1980s Trowbridge protested against the Reagan administration’s aid to the Nicaraguan Contras, who were engaged in combat against the Marxist Sandinistas led by Daniel Ortega.
In 1989 Trowbridge was a signatory to the CPUSA’s “Special May Day Greetings” to its “friends across the country,” published in the Marxist newspaper People’s Daily World. Two years later, she lent her name to a “Solidarity Day 2 Salute” in the CPUSA paper People’s Weekly World. In a 1992 Peoples Weekly World May Day supplement, Trowbridge was one of the signers of a statement by “Southern Arizona’s progressive community” members, most of whom were known CPUSA members. In 1995 she endorsed a People’s Weekly World “May Day salute” to all communist “heroes in the class war zone.” That same year, Trowbridge endorsed a People’s Weekly World statement to mark Labor Day, entitled “We honor the dead and fight like hell for the living.” And in 1996 she served on the board of the Salt Of The Earth Labor College, an institution founded by CPUSA members three years earlier.
At a CPUSA “Women’s Equality Conference” held on March 24, 2001, Trowbridge gave a speech titled “Homeless Women,” wherein she depicted American women as victims of widespread poverty, violence, and substandard health care. The federal welfare-reform measures which had been enacted five years earlier, said Trowbridge, had created a situation where women “are all too often faring poorly in low-wage jobs, often suffering in worse poverty than when they lived under traditional welfare.” Characterizing the U.S. economy as one “without safety nets,” Trowbridge lamented “the cyclical nature of the economic crises of a capitalist economy.” Capitalism,” she elaborated, “[is] an economic and social system that requires joblessness and homelessness, and that ignores and punishes the most vulnerable among us. Bringing an end to homelessness is only one of the battles in the ultimate fight for socialism.”
During the first decade of the 2000s, Trowbridge was an active member of the immigrant-rights group Derechos Humanos and the antiwar group Raging Grannies. She also supported the Alliance of Retired Americans; was a state board member of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Arizona chapter; worked closely with the notoriously corrupt, pro-socialist organization ACORN; supported the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, a group dedicated to providing “free legal and social services to detained men, women, and children under threat of deportation”; and was an active member of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a coalition directed by Communist Party supporter Margarida Jorge.
In March 2002, Trowbridge endorsed a People’s Weekly World call for a national holiday in honor of late Farm Workers Union leader Cesar Chavez.
In the spring of 2007, Trowbridge represented CPUSA at the 14th Congress of the Women’s International Democratic Federation, in Caracas, Venezuela.
In the May 1, 2009 edition of People’s World (successor to the People’s Daily World), Trowbridge was a signatory to the paper’s “May Day and Cinco de Mayo greetings to all our friends across the country.” “We commit ourselves to join the struggle for jobs, equality, national health care, a fair immigration policy, and for peace and justice in the Middle East,” read the statement.
On May 26, 2009, Trowbridge represented HCAN and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) at a National Health Care Forum held in Tucson. The following month, she expressed her optimism that the Barack Obama administration and a Democrat-led Congress would be able to implement a system of socialized medicine in the U.S. before the year’s end. “We have two things this year that we have never had before at the same time,” said Trowbridge, “an administration that is dedicated to reform and a lot of pressure coming from people that are informed about the crisis in health care.”
On July 1, 2009 in Tucson, Trowbridge participated in a town hall meeting hosted by Raul Grijalva; the topic was the health and welfare of Arizona’s senior citizens.
Trowbridge detests former Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for his zero-tolerance policy toward illegal immigration. In 2009 Trowbridge described Arpaio as “a maniac” whose unbridled “racism” had “clearly violated people’s human rights on a grand scale.” Trowbridge further asserted that Arpaio “will arrest anybody who looks like an immigrant,” and that his “definition of ‘illegal’ is anybody with dark skin.” “There needs to be a real change in how we view immigration rights in this country,” added Trowbridge, “and I’m heartened to know that the Obama administration is looking at this process in a more humane way.”
As of January 2019, Trowbridge was a member of the board of health in Pima County, Arizona.
Further Reading: “Carolyn Trowbridge” (KeyWiki.org); “Carolyn Trowbridge: Ties To Communist Party, SEIU, ACORN …” (Romantic Poet); “Homeless Women” (speech by Carolyn Trowbridge, CPUSA.org, 2001); “Tucson’s Grannies Rage Against Iraq War” (People’s World, 7-28-2006, re: speeches by Trowbridge and Grijalva); “Arizonans to Attend Health Care Rally in D.C.” (Arizona Capitol Times, 6-24-2009); “Feds Limit Arizona Sheriff [Joe Arpaio’s] Immigration Crackdown” (People’s World, 10-7-2009).