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California lesbian power couple Peggy Moore & Hope Wood dies in tragic car crash

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Peggy Moore and Hope Wood, two political activists based in Northern California, died in a car crash on May 10. Moore was 60 and Wood 48.

The collision took place on California Highway 76 in unincorporated San Diego County when the Jeep Gladiator they were traveling in hit a Chrysler sedan, according to The Bay Area Reporter. The drivers of the Chrysler and Jeep both died as well. The only survivor of the crash was Wood’s aunt, who was seriously injured.

The two got married at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California on July 29, 2013, after Proposition 8 – which a banned marriage equality – was struck down. They met while campaigning for former President Barack Obama in 2008.

Together, the couple founded Hope Action Change, a consulting firm focusing on developing diversity in leadership across organizations and companies, which they describe as “leadership grounded in love” on their website.

“We have lived outside the main streets of society in the intersections of our gender and our race, and we have learned to navigate a path through many streets where we have not been welcome. Despite the difficulties of this journey, we are full of optimism for where our path leads. We founded HAC to help other change leaders build and hold the wisdom & strength to fulfill their optimism for the future,” the website continues.

Moore was a campaign manager for former Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D), and after her election, she served as her senior advisor in 2014. Moore ran for a seat on the Oakland City Council but lost to an incumbent in 2016. She was a general consultant for Diana Betcon’s winning campaign for district attorney in Northern California’s Contra Costa County.

Alongside her political work, she co-founded Sistahs Steppin’ in Pride, which was a queer women’s event held in the east San Francisco Bay Area during the early 2000s.

Schaaf remembered Moore fondly. In an interview with The Bay Area Reporter, she said that Moore “molded me into the mayor I became — in the most beautiful ways our democracy needs more of..she was centered in love.”

Wood worked as a political organizer in California and nationwide for the last 20 years. She was also a former teaching fellow for Harvard Kennedy School’s Leadership Organizing, Action: Leading Change course.

On X (formerly Twitter), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) said, “Peggy Moore & Hope Wood were remarkable women who dedicated their lives to equality & justice. Their values brought them together & are the legacy they leave behind. Their family & friends are hurting, but we must remember we are all connected through the work they did every day.”

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