We have known April Freeman from her campaigns for Congress in 2016 and this year. She made a favorable impression on people she met for her detailed knowledge of grass roots politics at the local level, and her tenacious commitment to give voice to the average person. On a personal level, she made whomever she spoke with feel that he/she was important to her. It may be months before you would see her again, but she would remembered you.
She campaigned throughout Florida Congressional District 17, a sprawling district that encompasses seven counties and parts of two. The district stretches from Venice in Sarasota County east to Lake Okeechobee; from North Ft. Myers north to Polk in Polk County. The Peace River basin lies inside District 17. The district is highly diverse with multi-story condos, gated golf communities, and farm towns with migrant worker camps. April took her campaign throughout the entire district, and she would talk with anyone. Just the distances alone makes that no small feat, as anyone traveling in the remote parts of the district would know. There are no freeways connecting any of the towns.
News-Press.com reports, “Freeman knocked on doors during her campaigns and said it gave her a sense of a community that was lacking in representation. ‘They didn’t really have a voice, they were having problems with Social Security, dealing with federal agencies and they weren’t getting much help,’ Freeman said.”
She was described as “a perennial candidate in Southwest Florida”, by the News-Press. She had lost against Curt Clawson for Congressional District in 2014, and Tom Rooney for Congressional District 17 in 2016, and also a bid for Cape Coral mayor in 2017.
But she was undaunted, and she took up the fight one more time for “equality, peace, and justice”. She wanted Floridians to enjoy quality environment, education, health care, and to remove the influence of dark money.
April was truly dedicated to Democratic principles and ideals and fought literally to the very end. She and her husband David came to the Charlotte Dems office to cheer and encourage volunteers. She died at home later that night.
We remember April fondly. Nancy Razvozza, Democratic Club president, remembers April for how “she answered questions so honestly and in detail. I was very impressed. She had a good grasp of grass roots politics.”
“She was super. What a great lady,” said Paul Anarumo, a precinct captain. “She was very warm, genuine, kind, and generous. She loved to talk about politics.” Paul said that April was able to give him access to events, and was even allowed backstage to an event where Vice President Joe Biden was speaking.
Betty Gissendanner, Charlotte Dems vice-chair, hosted a fund raising party for April’s 2016 campaign. Betty says, “April wanted to go to Congress. She had studied the issues and was well-versed to lay out the issues in depth to better help voters understand the differences offered by political candidates and measure that against the status quo. April cared about people. She would spend time with a group of two on a moment’s notice. April worked at getting elected – she spoke to civic groups, house parties and individuals to make herself better known. She was a fighter right to the end. We will miss her greatly.”
Cindy and Marc Melser are “saddened by her passing. We saw her on Sunday afternoon. This is a testament to how short life is and how tomorrow is uncertain. We knew April from our encounters at with the Democratic Party. She was friendly, engaging and hard working. She was passionate about the causes for which she cared.” April’s message was “We listen, we care. Together we can solve this.”
Charlotte County Dems Chair Patrick Hurley in an interview with News-Press said how he was impressed with how April traveled to the small rural towns in the district to talk with the folks there. “The fire in her belly came from the people that she spoke with, who shared the same values that she had.”
“April reached out to people to urge them to vote for their best interests. She was a champion for the people,” Patrick says. “She knew it was an uphill battle but she was determined to give the people a voice.” It is now up to us to “carry on her legacy. It is incumbent on us to try to match her sacrifice and commitment”.
The memorial service for will be on Wednesday at 6:30 pm at Temple Beth Shalom. The address is 702 SE 24th Ave. Cape Coral, FL. 33990. All who loved her, admired and appreciated her are welcome to attend.
“May her memory be for a blessing.” (a Jewish proverb)
The sudden death of April Freeman has caused an unexpected hardship for her family. The family has set up a gofundme site to raise funds to help pay for funeral and travel expenses, and is asking for your generosity.
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