Representative Eric Pettigrew was raised by a single-mother in South Central Los Angeles. He attended Nogales High School where he was a stand-out member of the football team. Following his high school graduation, Eric studied sociology and counseling psychology at Oregon State University on a football scholarship.
After graduation from OSU in 1985, Eric moved to Seattle to study social work at the University of Washington. He received his master’s degree two years later.
Eric has a diverse background of work experience in all levels of government, the private sector, and the nonprofit sector. He served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety to former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice. He also worked as a recruiter to increase diversity in the UW School of Social Work. Likewise, he was the former director of the Minority Youth Health Project, which works to reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease rates in Seattle. Eric currently works as a Business Development Consultant for Gallagher Benefit Services.
First elected to the House of Representatives in 2002, Eric has worked to promote economic development, create new affordable housing opportunities, and expand educational opportunities for every child in Washington- regardless of race or economic status.
In 2010, Eric was chosen by his peers to serve as House Democratic Caucus Chair. The caucus chair is the third-ranking leadership position within the HDC, which makes Eric the highest-ranking African American in the Legislature.
Aside from his professional responsibilities, Eric has been heavily involved in community service for many years. He has served as a past president of the Rainier Valley Chamber of Commerce. He has also served on the board of the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club and the ACT Theatre. Additionally, Eric has been a little league baseball and basketball coach.
He lives in Seattle with his wife Nicole and has three children- Justin, Linda and Denae.