"Give Gene Parks a Job" is the headline for Isthmus editor Marc Eisen's opinion column. Madison's former affirmative action officer, fired for alleged nonperformance of duties, "has become the city's biggest pariah," Eisen writes. "A lot of folks would have you believe that Gene Parks is just a raving bitter crank. Don't believe them. Parks remains an articulate, competent man whose accomplishments over the past quarter-century put him in the front ranks of Madison's civic activists." Eisen credits Parks with increasing the number of women and minority on the city's payroll and forcefully bringing issues to the fore. "If his exile isn't lifted, it will be a terrible commentary on Madison." Parks remains engaged in civic affairs throughout his life, as proprietor of Mr. P's Place on Madison's south side, a candidate for public office (including a mayoral run in 1999) and outspoken citizen on a host of issues. He dies in 2005.