- Chairs the Communist Party USA’s Women's Equality Commission
- Protested in the 1980s against U.S. aid to the Nicaraguan Contras, who were engaged in combat against the Marxist Sandinistas
- Calls capitalism "an economic and social system that requires joblessness and homelessness, and that ignores and punishes the most vulnerable among us"
- Active member of the antiwar group Raging Grannies
- State board member of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Arizona chapter
- Worked vlosely with the community organization ACORN and the Service Employees International Union
- Active member of Health Care for America Now
Based in Tucson, Arizona, Carolyn Trowbridge is a feminist and an immigrant-rights activist who chairs the Communist Party USA’s Women's Equality Commission. In the 1980s she protested against U.S. aid to the Nicaraguan Contras, who were engaged in combat against the Marxist Sandinistas led by Daniel Ortega.
At a Communist Party USA "Women’s Equality Conference" held on March 24, 2001, Trowbridge gave a speech titled "Homeless Women," wherein she depicted American women as victims of widespread poverty, violence, and substandard health care. She said the welfare-reform measures enacted in 1996 had created a situation where women "are all too often faring poorly in low-wage jobs, often suffering in worse poverty than when they lived under traditional welfare." Depicting the American economy as one "without safety nets," she lamented "the cyclical nature of the economic crises of a capitalist economy." Capitalism, she elaborated, was "an economic and social system that requires joblessness and homelessness, and that ignores and punishes the most vulnerable among us." "Bringing an end to homelessness is only one of the battles in the ultimate fight for socialism," added Trowbridge.
Trowbridge is an active member of the immigrant-rights group Derechos Humanos and the antiwar group Raging Grannies. She supports the Alliance of Retired Americans and is a state board member of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Arizona chapter. She has worked closely with the community group ACORN and is an active member of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a coalition directed by Communist Party supporter Margarida Jorge.
Trowbridge represented HCAN and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) at a National Health Care Forum held in Tucson on May 26, 2009. In June 2009 she expressed her optimism that the Barack Obama administration and a Democrat-led Congress would be able to implement a system of socialized medicine in the U.S. before the year's end. "We have two things this year that we have never had before at the same time," said Trowbridge, "an administration that is dedicated to reform and a lot of pressure coming from people that are informed about the crisis in health care."
Trowbridge detests Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for his zero-tolerance policy toward illegal immigrants. Trowbridge considers Arpaio "a maniac" who "has clearly violated people's human rights on a grand scale." "Arpaio and his posse will arrest anybody who looks like an immigrant, and his definition of 'illegal' is anybody with dark skin," says Trowbridge. "Racism plays a major role here." In 2009 Trowbridge stated, "There needs to be a real change in how we view immigration rights in this country and I'm heartened to know that the Obama administration is looking at this process in a more humane way."