The people’s body: House of Representatives
As the 2016 Legislative Session begins on January 11, 2016, and I walk for the first time into the Senate Chamber as a member, I would like to pause briefly to express my gratitude and appreciation to my colleagues, staff and friends with whom I served in the state House of Representatives for seven years.
I first walked into the House Chamber in 1979 as a 14-year-old page from Bellingham. I remember looking up and seeing “Whatcom” on the county list, and pondering the reality of how big our state was compared to my small town. In 20098 when I walked on the House floor as a new member, I sat at desk number 36 on the floor. It was a coincidence but I took it as a special blessing.
There is a saying that “every members is given a mulligan your first year.” It means, simply, that it’s easy to make mistakes, and I had my share of them. I’m proud of the substantive policy work that year and since as I found my footing as a legislator.
A deeply private and treasured memory is walking late at night through the House Chamber that first term with the late Scott White, my friend with whom I had been elected in 2008, and talking about how blessed we were to be husbands, fathers and elected representatives in the people’s body. My dear friend Scott had the opportunity to serve in the Legislature for less than three years as he passed away unexpectedly at age 41 from a previously undetected heart enlargement. I miss him a great deal and find myself thinking about him during this transition.
The House Democratic Caucus is a dynamic, energetic and fiercely dedicated team of citizen activists for our quality of life. I’ve enjoyed sparing with my GOP friends and colleagues, and finding common ground when possible, with equally good people equally dedicated to our collective future.
There are few honors greater than serving in public office. The state House of Representatives–and the people who make it work–are the best of the best and reflect the values of our state.
Thank you my friends for the honor of being your partner in service.