Elected Experience: 14 sessions as your State Senator.
Other Professional Experience: 32 years of law practice in Mississippi (1972-73) and Washington (1973-2004), much of that in civil rights cases. Labor organizer, Laborers International Union of North America, NW Region, 2004-09. News reporter, Baltimore Afro-American, 1968, Baltimore Sun, 1969. Volunteer organizer, SNCC, Greenwood, Mississippi, 1964.
Education: B.A., 1968, Johns Hopkins, and J.D., 1972, University of Maryland.
Community Service: boards of directors: NARAL Pro-Choice, King County Conservation Voters, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Danceworks NW
Statement: Almost alone among legislators, I get the luxury of voting my district and voting my conscience. For 14 sessions, I have advocated and enacted progressive positions on behalf of the state's most diverse district.
As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have protected our civil liberties and civil rights. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I have pressed for more progressive taxes, such as the income tax, that take into account one's ability to pay, and have pressed for a more rational tax on business that supports small firms and start-ups; and I have won stronger funding for social services and K-12 in tough times. As a member of Labor and Commerce, I have won important workplace protections that affect our working people directly.
I attend to the interests of low-income and disenfranchised people, who seek social justice and equal opportunity. Clean air, clean water, and other environmental protections are my high priorities. I am 100% pro-choice. I support real family values: marriage equality, and family leave for working parents. I'll continue to seek more rational restrictions on assault-weapons.