Jonathan Rowe was a writer who wrote about the commons, diseconomy, economics, economic indicators, corporations, and many other subjects.

Jonathan was an editor at the Washington Monthly magazine and a staff writer at the Christian Science Monitor.  He contributed to Harper’s, the Atlantic Monthly, Reader’s Digest, Washington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, American Prospect, Adbusters, and a host of other publications.  He was a contributing editor at the Washington Monthly and YES! Magazines; and he served on the boards of WhoWhatWhy, Take Back Your Time, and the Marin Media Foundation.

Jonathan co-founded the organization On The Commons, which promotes commons-based solutions to problems.  He was a founder and co-director of the West Marin Commons, which works to create spaces for spontaneous sociability, and also an infrastructure for the sharing of knowledge and resources, on the western edge of Marin County, California. In the latter half of the 1990s he worked at Redefining Progress in San Francisco, and was the lead author of a critique of conventional notions of economic growth that became a cover story in the Atlantic Monthly called “If The GDP Is Up Why Is America Down?” He was a key advisor to Commercial Alert, an organization that opposes commercialism. He was associate director of Citizens for Tax Justice, where he helped start a coalition of labor and citizen groups to push for fairer tax laws. In the early 1970’s, he worked for Ralph Nader and was one of the early “Nader’s Raiders.”

Jonathan also served on staffs in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.  For several years, he worked for U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan.  He worked on the staff of the Washington, D.C. city council.

He did a weekly radio show on KWMR-FM in Point Reyes Station, California, and contributed to the local papers there – the West Marin Citizen and Point Reyes Light.

Jonathan authored the books Time Dollars (with Edgar Cahn), about the non-market economy and the emergence of service barter networks; and Tax Politics (with Robert M. Brandon and Thomas H. Stanton).

He died on March 20th, 2011.

Remembering Jonathan Rowe
Russ Baker, Jonathan Rowe 1946-2011, and Remembering Jonathan Rowe.
Peter Barnes, Jonathan Rowe, 1946-2011.
David Bollier, My Friend Jonathan Rowe (1946-2011): An Appreciation.
Edgar Cahn, Jonathan Rowe: My Recollections.
Byron L. Dorgan, Tribute to Jon Rowe.
James Fallows, Jonathan Rowe.
Paul Glastris, Remembering Jonathan Rowe.
David Mitchell, Writer Jonathan Rowe Dies Unexpectedly at 6.
Ralph Nader, Statement on Jonathan Rowe.
Peter Richardson, Jonathan Rowe, 1946-2011.
Gary Ruskin, Jonathan Rowe.
Howard Silverman, Reading and Remembering Jonathan Rowe.
Sam Smith, Passings: Jonathan Rowe, and Jonathan Rowe, cont’d.
Chris Sturr, Jonathan Rowe, RIP.
Jason Walsh, West Marin activist Jonathan Rowe dead at 65.

For information on how to send condolences to Jonathan’s family, or how to give gifts in his memory, please email Gary Ruskin.

Photos (courtesy of Robert Vente)