Greens mourn the passing of Billy McKinney, Cynthia’s father

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders expressed sadness and sympathy for the family of former Georgia State Rep. James Edward “Billy” McKinney, father of Cynthia McKinney, after his passing on Thursday, July 15, following a long illness.  He was 83.

Billy McKinney served as a state legislator in Georgia for 30 years.  Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party’s 2008 presidential nominee and a former six-term Georgia member of the US House of Representatives, also served in the Georgia legislature.  They became the first father-daughter duo in the Georgia House when Ms. McKinney was first elected in 1992.

“The McKinney family has the sympathy of all of us in the Green Party.  Cynthia McKinney was very proud of her father and his legacy, just as we’re sure Billy McKinney was very proud of Cynthia,” said Rosa Clemente, who was nominated as the Green vice-presidential candidate in 2008.  “I join with all Greens and freedom loving people as we send love and light to Cynthia, her mother Leola, and Coy, Billy’s grandson.  I met both Billy and Leola in Chicago during our nomination weekend.  I was lucky to have met and been supported by Billy as his daughter and I made history.  Let’s use the legacay left by James Edward ‘Billy’ McKinney to move forward in our collective struggle and fight for justice.”

Billy and Leola McKinney joined Cynthia on the stage of the Chicago Symphony Center on July 12, 2008, when she accepted the Green Party’s presidential nomination.

“Billy McKinney was truly a public servant and Cynthia McKinney is living his legacy,” said Lucy Grider-Bradley, who served as Cynthia McKinney’s campaign coordinator in her successful run for the US House in 2004.

“The work we do, the hope we have to offer is only possible because we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.  I learned much by watching Billy work.  And the legacy he created now injects his spirit of resistance throughout our party,” said Hugh Esco, secretary of the Georgia Green Party (http://www.greens.org/georgia).

The Georgia Green Party, during its last state convention, adopted a proclamation “extend[ing] our heartfelt appreciation [to Billy and Leola McKinney] for their leadership, service and many other contributions to their local, national and global community” and honoring them “for their lives so well lived, and for the vital contributions they have made to an independent and justice seeking politics both here in Georgia, as well as in the national and international community.” (http://www.accgreenparty.org/gpga/?q=nc2010/Honoring_Billy_and_Leola_McKinney)

Funeral arrangements are pending.  For more information, contact attorney Mike Raffauf at 404-452-6390.

Cynthia McKinney’s YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/RunCynthiaRun

Cynthia McKinney’s commentary page: http://www.gp.org/cynthia/index.php


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For Immediate Release:
Friday, July 16, 2010

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, cell 202-904-7614, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org

Greens mourn the passing of Billy McKinney, Cynthia’s father

Dave Schwab

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