Friends on both sides of the political aisle are taking steps to create a bipartisan foundation that would honor the memory of a 29-year-old Bristol native who drowned in Baltimore this week.
The Deschaine Foundation for Excellence in Government, which was formed in the nation’s capital Thursday, is “a good way to keep him in our hearts and minds in the future,” said Craig Max, vice chair of the District of Columbia’s Republican Party.
Max said that Deschaine, though a Democrat, “became an integral part of the city and particularly the city’s political and social environment.”
“He was a real model for people,” Max said.
The foundation, which aims to become a recognized non-profit, would honor “the legacy of public service” that Deschaine left behind. Its goal is to improve the quality of life for Washington residents.
Deschaine, a 1997 Bristol Eastern High School graduate, moved to Washington for college at Catholic University and remained there ever since, getting involved in many political campaigns and causes.
At the time of his death, he worked as communications director for a leading Democrat on Washington’s city council.
Max said that even though Deschaine is a Democrat, he got along well with him.
“Desi was a good friend,” Max said, and attending each other’s fundraisers despite their political differences.
“Both of us in our own ways were driving toward the same goals,” Max said.
The foundation’s role is “still evolving,” Max said, but is coming together quickly as friends lend a hand.
Deschaine’s boyfriend, J’aimee Hurtet, is likely to be one of the directors of the foundation, Max said.
Deschaine was active in Bristol Republican circles during his teenage years, but switched parties while living in Washington, where he worked for a mayor shortly after earning his bachelor’s degree in international politics.
Deschaine drowned in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor after a day of boating on the Chesapeake Bay Sunday. His death was apparently accidental.
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