Diane Glasser, Democratic Party Titan, Dead At 89

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

Once Broward County was filled with powerful Democratic seniors who influenced politics all the way to the White House.

There were folks like Tillie Greenstein, the queen of palm cards, and Henry “Uncle Henry” Lustgarten, the former New York City Democratic precinct captain who rounded up votes in Broward for two decades.

There was Harry Rosenkranz and Bert Lichtenstein in Lauderdale Lakes, Amadeo “Trinchi” Trinchitella in Deerfield Beach’s Century Village, Phil Halle in Lauderdale West, Murray Seigel in Polynesian Gardens and Casey Pollack in Palm Aire.

All are gone. Gone also are most of the Democratic seniors they shepherded to the polls every election.

Putting a period on that era is this week’s death of Diane Glasser. She was 89.

 

Diane Glasser as a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National convention in Philadelphia (photo: Ken Evans)

 

Glasser was a colossal power in the Democratic Party for roughly three decades.

“She was the last of the titans. She played a vital role in state and national Democratic politics for years,” former Broward Democratic state committeeman Mike Moskowitz recalled.

She was a Broward Democratic committee woman. She was a state committee woman. And a member of the Democratic National Committee, shaping the entire party organization.

She was repeatedly a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Her background echoed other Democratic elders who filled the newly built condominiums in the 1970s. Glasser said this on Facebook about her life before Broward:

“I was born/raised in Coney Island and then my family moved in Kings Highway in Brooklyn.”

She went to Brooklyn’s James Madison High, among whose graduates were Bernie Sanders and former longtime Broward Democratic leader Mitch Ceasar.

Ceasar’s sister ended up married to Glasser’s son.

Glasser’s clout stemmed from involvement in the party, not from an ability to steer votes at a local level, Ceasar said.

“She was on the DNC something like 24 years,” he said.

Almost from the day she arrived in Broward in 1973 with her husband Bob, she immersed herself in Democratic politics. Quickly earning a reputation as a stalwart Democrat, she eventually was on a first name basis with every important party leader — President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Gov. Lawton Chiles, Lt. Gov. Buddy McKay and U. S. Senator Bill Nelson among others.

Elected late in life in 2008 to the Tamarac City Commission representing the Kings Point condomium complex, she served until 2016.

Although Glasser was part of the old guard, she was far ahead of other Democratic seniors in her belief that minorities should get a better deal from society, Ceasar recalled.

“She went out of her way to speak for people who had little voice. She was always an advocate for African Americans and the gay community long before it was popular in Democratic circles,” Ceasar said.

“For somebody of her generation, her stands were unheard of. Diane was way ahead of her time. She never wavered from those beliefs.”

 

 

Diane Glasser and her caregiver, veteran Democratic activist Percy Johnson, Miami in December, 2016 

 

 

A memorial service will be held Sunday Oct.15,2017 at 10:30am at Star of David on Bailey Road.

 

 



3 Responses to “Diane Glasser, Democratic Party Titan, Dead At 89”

  1. Mona Schwartz says:

    A wonderful woman. She will be missed.

  2. Tony Hill says:

    A Great Democrat. RIP my Friend……

  3. Scott Falmlen says:

    Very sorry to see this news. Diane was a great Democrat and an even greater organizer/campaigner. RIP

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