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Mar 12

Tribute to Carol Norberg, Placer County activist, dies at 92

“A Simmering Feminist Who Went Full-throttle”

Carol Norberg, former Roseville resident and long-time Placer County activist died February 13, 2017 in San Leandro, CA. Mark Norberg , her husband of 65 years was at her bedside. She was 92 years and despite recent health challenges had been active till the end. The day before she died she was aggressively working to rent a room in the local library to show a recently purchased DVD on fracking which she felt was a threat to the environment.

Wife, mother, substitute teacher, community activist, firebrand, writer, proud Democrat and generous patron of women organizations and issues, Carol juggled the various hats with unbelievable energy and curiosity. In a recent conversation, she admitted to be a simmering feminist until her children were raised and she well full-throttle. She believed in equality for all, which defined being a feminist. She proudly called her husband Mark a feminist and indeed they were in partnership in all her activities for equality.

She was a proud and committed Democrat. Since naming their first-born after defeated Adlai Stevenson, she and Mark worked campaigns of women and feminist men wherever they lived. They originally joined the Placer County Democratic Central Committee to help a woman candidate they felt was virtually ignored.   That began a long struggle to rebuild the committee and another 13 years of planning meetings, dinners, events, outreach at county fairs, moderated a monthly TV forum Democratic Dialogue; edited the newsletter of the same name ; orchestrated annual dinner and picnic preparations.

She and her husband suggested booths at local fairs, handled the arrangements, designed and set up the booths, then staffed along with volunteers (a growing number each year) for 12 years. They worked to develop clubs, first the Women Democrats of South Placer, then a short-lived Roseville Club, the North Tahoe Club, Sun City Democrats, Hillary Rodham Clinton Fan Club, Democratic Club of South Placer, and the in-process Lincoln Democrats.

While Mark served as chair of the Central Committee for two terms, Carol served as secretary for four, and now, as vice chair. She scheduled successful voter registration drives for party bounty money for the clubs. As Secretary for Women Democrats: Carol Norberg held group together through the thin times; recruited new members and garnered speakers. It was Carol who initiated the Eleanor Roosevelt Luncheon that later recognized women in the community who emulated Eleanor Roosevelt’s ideals of community service.

In addition to organizing a Hillary Rodham Clinton fan club, Carol developed displays for Women’s History occasions and coordinated women suffrage parades with Diana Madoshi. Carol later joined the board of the National Women History Project. She also became involved with CEDAW (the U.N. Women’s Treaty) and the CAWA (the California Women’s Agenda) That led to her becoming coordinator for the ratification effort for which she organized a county coalition to persuade city councils to pass resolution in favor of ratification.

In 2005, Carol and Mark Norberg decided to relocate to the Bay Area where three of their four children resided. A big bash was held for them (affectionately referred to as the Godfather & Godmother of Placer Democrats) in Sun City Roseville. Although, the Norberg made the move to the Bay Area, they never severed their connections to Placer Democrats. Carol continued to support women history programs and donate books to libraries as administrator of the Doris Foster Foundation. They attended and supported fundraising events.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the National Organization for Women (NOW), the American Association of University Women and Planned Parenthood are only a few organizations that Carol passionately supported. Ten days before she passed, Carol and Mark attended a Sacramento meeting of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

My last conversation with Carol centered on how proud she was of the re-energized Placer Democrats Clubs, especially the new Placer Women Democrats club, the amazing rally of support for Planned Parenthood, and the Women’s March.

Like many of the foremothers of the women suffrage movement and civil rights movement, Carol Norberg planted and nourished many seeds for others to move us forward in our quest for human dignity and equality for all.

2 comments

  1. Scott Johnson

    No one every worked harder to keep the Democratic brand from drying up and blowing away in Placer County then Carol and her husband Mark. When the so called Patriot Act was passed in a shameful bi partisan vote they organized a bill of rights defense committee to oppose it and pressure the County Board of Supervisors to declare the County in opposition to this unpatriotic infringement on our constitutional rights. I will always remember Carol as a fighter for our rights under the Constitution without compromise.

  2. Sunny Carraway

    I would have loved so much to have known her. Such a role model!

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