Author Topic: Tom Lowenhaupt  (Read 587 times)

Offline carrefour_ny

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Tom Lowenhaupt
« on: August 12, 2019, 06:34:58 PM »
I just got a message from Danny Dromm that Tom Lowenhaupt, who's posted here frequently, notably about the JacksonHeights.nyc domain, has passed away. Dromm's message is below.

"I am greatly saddened by the passing of Thomas John Lowenhaupt, long-time Jackson Heights resident and civic leader.  Tom never missed an opportunity to demonstrate his love of our neighborhood.  He will always be remembered for his work with Queens Community Board 3 and the countless hours he dedicated to creating JacksonHeights.nyc. Tom's presence, good nature and excellent work will be sorely missed."

Offline toddg

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Re: Tom Lowenhaupt
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2019, 09:54:59 PM »
I didn't know Tom well, but he always struck me a kind and gentle man.   

He was also a visionary.  As early as the 1990s, he was submitting comments to ICANN on the early rules and structures it was establishing for the internet, with particular attention to issues of openness and social equity.  He started an organization he called "The Communisphere Project" to promote technology as an instrument of improving civic life.   Here's his vision the project, from its web page circa 2005:

"Era defining technology like the Internet changes a people's outlook toward government. It alters the role of distance and time and challenges boundaries between public and private, and between local, state, and federal. It creates porous borders where trade, technology, and ideas challenge governance processes developed for farming and manufacturing societies. As reality and expectations change, the governance process must evolve to sustain government's legitimacy.

The Internet offers an astonishing capacity to refashion our governance structures. Social software like websites, blogs, wikies, and reputation systems enable ideas to be expressed, examined, and acted upon like never before. And the net extends democracy to the 24/7 world by enabling the young, old, and "too busy" to participate and contribute to the governance process.

By drawing in more ideas, knowledge, and people, the Internet can help communities make better decisions and add legitimacy to government."


Tom hand-coded the web page for Community Board 3 (which I believed he served on for many years), making it one of the first community boards in the city to have a website with a wide range of functionality.

Tom also successfully advocated for ICANN to create the ".nyc" top-level domain, which he envisioned as a vehicle for local non-profit and community based organizations to form a dynamic ecosystem on the internet.   He created the JacksonHeights.nyc page, which currently hosts the Jackson Heights wiki.   

He was a passionate believer that the internet and technology could help foster stronger and more just communities.  It is a beautiful and optimistic vision, and I will always remember Tom for his inspiring civic leadership working to bring it to fruition.


Article in CityLimits.org, Sept. 14, 2015: City Must Use .NYC to Create a Real Civic Commons
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 10:10:39 PM by toddg »

Offline itsit

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Re: Tom Lowenhaupt
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019, 09:50:24 AM »
  Tom Lowenhaupt was someone I did not personally know but felt his caring for our community
of Jackson Heights profoundly. He was a progressive thinker and importantly, a doer, not just
a talker. Would love to see a bigger tribute to him going forward from the community. Condolences
to his family and Pat especially.

  Can we make more like him?

Offline abcdefghijk

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Re: Tom Lowenhaupt
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019, 11:00:17 AM »
RIP. I met Tom. He was a real gentleman.

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Tom Lowenhaupt
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019, 11:00:17 AM »