Remembering Karla Irvine: Fair Elections and Fair Housing Advocate

by Amy Ngai // Published February 23, 2010

On February 19th, the proponents of election reform and fair government lost an outspoken and fearless advocate. Karla Irvine, a founding member of FairVote, was 76 years old. An active member of the NAACP and the Charter Committee in Cincinnati, Karla was a fierce champion of proportional representation and electoral equality. Most recently, she was active in the campaign to bring back proportional representation to Cincinnati in 2008. During the campaign, not only did I have the pleasure of working with her, she also graciously opened her home to me. Our daily chats at the kitchen table provided the encouragement and insight I needed to get through the grueling campaign.

In addition to her dedication towards proportional representation, Karla was a lifelong activist and a nationally recognized leader in the fair-housing movement. Her obituary can be viewed at A memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 22 at Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St., Cincinnati.

Karla, your zeal and tenacity for equality and improving the lives of others is unmatched and will surely be missed.