Ethan Cox

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Ethan Cox is a 28-year-old political organizer and writer from Montreal. He cut his political teeth accrediting the Dawson Student Union against ferocious opposition from the college administration and has worked as a union organizer for the Public Service Alliance of Canada. He has also worked on several successful municipal and federal election campaigns, and was a member of Quebec central office staff for the NDP in the 2011 election. He is currently the News and Politics Editor at forgetthebox.net and writes regularly on national political issues. You can follow him on Twitter @EthanCoxMtl and like his facebook page at Facebook.com/EthanOCox

Jack Layton, a true progressive: Be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world

Ethan Cox with Jack and 20-year-old MP Charmaine Borg at Stornoway in June.

The second last time I saw Jack Layton was at a garden party at Stornoway in late June. Speaking under a vast white tent as desultory raindrops punished the exiled mass of smokers, he declared his and Olivia's new house, the residence of the leader of the official opposition, to be "the people's house."

Shortly afterwards I caught him on his way out and sheepishly asked for a photo. I can't say why really, I suppose I was overcome by the emotion of the moment. In seven years and something like 20 meetings and conversations, it was the first time I posed for a picture with him. I remember mumbling apologies for being so sycophantic, which he brushed off with his usual generosity of spirit.

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