John O'Connor was a Massachusetts activist, who died in 2002.
John started in Worcester in the late 70’s as a VISTA, then became an organizer of low-wage workers for Massachusetts Fair Share. He quickly moved on to piece together a legendary grassroots organization, the National Toxics Campaign, that ultimately pressured Ronald Reagan to put billions of dollars into the Superfund for toxic waste cleanup. Never really finished with anything, a decade later John O'Connor founded Greenworks, an incubator of environmental startups.
Working with famous names
O'Connor worked with Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu in South Africa. In Cambridge, he built and dedicated a permanent memorial to the vicims of the Irish Famine with Ireland’s president Mary Robinson by his side. In between he wrote books on alternative energy, lead poisoning, and fighting toxics, and was at work on one highlighting threats to the nation’s food supply when he died.
New Party builder
New Party News Fall 1994 listed over 100 New Party activists-"some of the community leaders, organizers, retirees,, scholars, artists, parents, students, doctors, writers and other activists who are building the NP" the list included John O'Connor, Jobs and Environment
O'Connor's 1998 race in the 8th Congressional District included a campaign school of 20 young organizers-in-training. He mounted a simultaneous effort to repeal the state’s electricity deregulation law, one which O’Connor ally Ralph Nader called the “biggest consumer rip-off in Massachusetts history.”