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California political activist couple Peggy Moore and Hope Wood killed in car crash

Political Activist Couple Peggy Moore Hope Wood Killed in Car Crash
Facebook @Peggy Moore

From left: Peggy Moore and Hope Wood

They met while campaigning for Barack Obama in 2008, worked for numerous other candidates, and later founded a consulting firm.

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Peggy Moore and Hope Wood, a prominent political activist couple in Northern California, were killed in a car crash May 10.

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They were passengers in a Jeep Gladiator that collided head-on with a Chrysler sedan on California Highway 76 in unincorporated San Diego County, according to The Bay Area Reporter. Their vehicle was westbound, and the Chrysler swerved out of the eastbound lane, for reasons unknown, causing the crash. Moore was 60 and Wood 48.

The drivers of the Jeep and the Chrysler were both killed as well. Wood’s aunt, also a passenger in the Jeep, was the only survivor but was seriously injured, notes a GoFundMe page set up for the couple’s funeral expenses.

Moore and Wood met and fell in love while campaigning for Barack Obama in 2008. They were married at Lake Merritt in Oakland, Calif., July 29, 2013, a month after the fall of Proposition 8, which had blocked marriage equality in California.

Moore managed Libby Schaaf’s successful campaign for mayor of Oakland in 2014 and was a senior adviser to Schaaf after the election. Moore ran for a seat on the Oakland City Council in 2016 but lost to incumbent Rebecca Kaplan. She was general consultant for Diana Betcon’s winning campaign for district attorney in Northern California’s Contra Costa County as well. Moore also cofounded Sistahs Steppin’ in Pride, a queer women’s event held in the east San Francisco Bay Area for several years in the early 2000s.

Wood was a former teaching fellow for Harvard Kennedy School’s Leadership Organizing, Action: Leading Change course and had been a political organizer across California and the nation for the past 20 years.

In 2019, the couple founded Hope Action Change, a consulting firm focusing on organizational development and building diverse leadership in companies. “As women of color, we are experts at the dance of values in the workplace,” they wrote on the firm’s website. “We have lived outside the main streets of society in the intersections of our gender and our race, and we have learned to navigate a path through many streets where we have not been welcome. Despite the difficulties of this journey, we are full of optimism for where our path leads. We founded HAC to help other change leaders build and hold the wisdom & strength to fulfill their optimism for the future.”

Recently, Moore and Wood had been living most of the time in Southern California’s Orange County to be closer to Wood’s family, while keeping an apartment in Oakland, Schaaf told the Reporter. Moore had also been traveling to Oklahoma frequently to see her family.

Schaaf and other political leaders and friends are remembering the couple fondly. Moore “molded me into the mayor I became — in the most beautiful ways our democracy needs more of,” Schaaf said in the Reporter interview. “She was centered in love.”

She hosted a memorial gathering last Saturday. “I was so shocked. I wanted to create a space to celebrate her and Hope,” Schaaf said. “It’s a devastating loss for me personally and for democracy.” Schaff left the mayor’s post last year and is running for California treasurer in 2026.

“Peggy Moore & Hope Wood were remarkable women who dedicated their lives to equality & justice,” U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee of California wrote on X. “Their values brought them together & are the legacy they leave behind. Their family & friends are hurting, but we must remember we are all connected through the work they did every day.”

“Peggy and Hope were cherished friends, community leaders and impactful organizers,” Brendalynn Goodall wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Their good works have ripples throughout the country and this profound loss is widely felt. Many of us are searching for a way to process this tragedy.”

“Both Peggy and Hope were the eldest of their siblings and dutiful daughters who were pillars of support for their aging parents,” Goodall noted. “The enormity of the impact on their families from this loss cannot be overstated.” To fund the high cost of holding funeral services in California and Oklahoma, each of the women’s families will receive an equal share of the money raised, she added.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.