He is the Raleigh City Council’s most dogged member, and even those on the council with whom he regularly disagrees would give him that. If Thomas Crowder grabs hold of an issue, he will learn more about it, and speak more about it, and face down other council members even if he stands alone.
His District D in southwestern Raleigh includes many college students and all kinds of professionals. Crowder, who has had a firm grip on the seat since his election in 2003, knows most of them, going door to door hearing about everything from garbage collection to cars parked on lawns (a personal gripe of his) and returning to his council office to do something about it.
The architect, soft spoken generally but riled if he believes an average citizen is getting a raw deal, now faces with personal courage and integrity a fight he knows he is not going to win. Crowder announced a cancer diagnosis in 2013 and now has said he may be unable to finish his current term because his treatment options have run out and he is terminally ill.
He will keep going for now, and Crowder will know when he no longer can serve. He has asked the council to appoint his wife, Kay, to his seat when he resigns.
Thomas Crowder’s courage and candor are admirable. He calls his council experience “one of my most humbling and rewarding life experiences.” Though some might prefer not to spend their limited time doing civic duty, Crowder has long been immersed in the work, and his expertise on the issues is valuable. He has earned the right to make his own judgment on when it will no longer be viable for him to continue.
And he has earned as well the gratitude of the residents of Raleigh.