1. State Sen. Scott White (D-46, N. Seattle) died on Friday afternoon of complications from an enlarged heart. The condition had gone undetected. He was 41.
According to the Kittitas County Sheriff’s office, hotel staff at the Suncadia Lodge found White in his room around 2:00 pm. He had been attending a conference at the resort.
In a statement released Friday, King County Executive Dow Constantine called Sen. White “a colleague and a friend, a rising star in the Legislature, and a champion for his district and for King County.”
In the the latest legislative session, White led on the bill to fund King County Metro and had already signed on to pro-transit principles to frame next year’s debate on a statewide transit package. He also pushed through a bipartisan compromise to end the stadium taxes and shift funding to arts. White, a Seattle liberal, was also one of a bloc of Democratic state senators who tried to reject the controversial workers’ comp reform opposed by labor.
White, a former King County staffer, took office in the legislature in 2008, serving two years in the House of Representatives before he was elected to the Senate in 2010. White, whose district represents much of north Seattle, served as the Majority Whip—an impressive appointment he got late last year immediately after moving to the senate from the house when former state Sen. Ken Jacobsen retired. He was also Vice Chair of the Senate transportation committee. As a rep, White was one of the minority of Seattle Democrats who voted against the infamous cost overruns provision on the tunnel in 2009.
He leaves behind his wife, Alison, and two children, ages 5 and 3.
Alison released the following statement:
Scott’s family and I wish to express our appreciation for the outpouring of support we have received since learning of his passing. He was a tremendous husband, father and public official, and we are deeply moved by the nobility and honor with which his professional accomplishments are remembered. We are consoled by the support of friends, colleagues and our community. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.
Donations can be made to the Wedgewood Elementary PTSA, EarthCorps or to the Scott White Memorial Fund, an education fund for his two children, which has been established at Wells Fargo:
Scott White Memorial Fund
PO Box 95675
Seattle, WA 98145-2675
Account Number: 1559550528
Routing Number: 125008547
A public service will be held later this week. Please respect the family’s wishes for privacy at this time.
2. Several state legislators were offended to receive calls this weekend from state Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (D-46, N. Seattle) who, sources tell Fizz, was already lobbying her colleagues, seeking the appointment to fill former Sen. White's seat.
However, Rep. Kenney says she did not make any calls to lobby her colleagues. She said she made one call over the weekend to a colleague about White's sudden death and received several others. The subject of appointment and succession did come up in those calls, she says.
"This is very hard. Very hard for us, this loss to our community" she said. "I am not making any moves. I'm waiting for the King County Democrats to move anything forward. Right now we're focused on the memorial service."
She did say when the subject came up she told colleagues she was interested in White's senate seat. "It wouldn't be fair to say I'm not interested," she says. "I'm not going to lie."
The 46th District Democratic precinct officers will forward three names (with their top pick noted) to the King County Council. The Council will interview the nominees and choose a replacement for White. The Democrats' goal is to make the appointment before the special session to deal with the state budget begins on November 28. If either Rep. Kenney or the other rep from the 46th, David Frockt, gets the appointment, the 46th and county council will go through the same process to find a house replacement.
3. Occupy Seattle demonstrators morphed their protest into an anti-police brutality march and rally on Saturday afternoon. Daniel Stevens, age 60, held a sign in Westlake Park that blared, “Cops and Wall Street: hand in hand.”
The call for the Saturday rally buffed up the Occupy Seattle protests which had dwindled over the previous week as hundreds of protesters gathered in Westlake Park at noon. The rally was followed with a march at about 3:15 p.m., organized by the Coalition to Stop Police Brutality of Seattle. SPD police officers escorted the protesters down Pine Street as they marched toward locations where they say incidents of police brutality—including the scene where John T. Williams was shot and killed by an SPD officer—took place.
The Coalition invited friends and family members of those who were victims of police brutality to speak. “They are enforcers of the 1 percent’s rule,” said Emma Kaplan, member of the Coalition to Stop Police Brutality.
Stevens thinks the police officers are also part of the 99 percent, but that they are wrongly “brutalizing citizens” as part of their jobs.“They are actually part of working class America,” he said. “Obviously if [the economy] collapses, they’re gone too.”
4. The Washington State Democrats handed out their annual "Maggie" awards on Saturday night. King County Executive Dow Constantine won "Elected Official of the Year."
The other winners, announced at the annual Convention Center gala where former Democratic US Rep. Joe Sestak gave the (evidently long-winded) keynote included:
Female Volunteer of the Year: Kris Cejka
Male Volunteer of the Year: Al Garman
State Committeeman of the Year: George Fearing
State Committeewoman of the Year: Karen Spackman
Chair of the Year: Karen Keleman
Lifetime Achievement: Senator Margarita Prentice
Life Achievement Award: Rick Bender
Female Rising Star Award: Priscilla Min
Male Rising Star Award: Matthew Randazzo