By Michael Collins
Los Angeles magazine’s “LA to Z” issue – December 1996
(1958- ) Atom smasher. As regional leader of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Parfrey has taken his battle against nuclear power around the Pacific Rim. Born in Manhattan, Parfrey attended Santa Monica High and UC Berkeley. After a brief acting career, he spent twelve years working in homeless shelters, including a Catholic Worker shelter he founded in Santa Ana.
Parfrey moved to Petaluma, where his eldest daughter knew Polly Klaus, and returned in 1994 to focus on the nuclear crusade. He has a long arrest record for civil disobedience, and he helped persuade Senator Diane Feinstein to oppose the Ward Valley nuclear waste dump, twenty miles from the Colorado River.
“Nuclear power and weapons are intrinsically linked,” says Parfrey. “The bad news is you can’t get rid of one without the other. The good news is you can get rid of both.”