OLYMPIA, WASH. – Today, Black Members Caucus Chair Rep. Jamila Taylor (D-Federal Way) released the following statement honoring the life of former Washington state Senator and Representative Bill Smitherman. Smitherman, who passed away this month, represented Washington state’s 26th Legislative District from 1983-1990.
“Sen. Bill Smitherman’s dedication to public service shines through in the lasting impact he leaves on our state. The first Black legislator to represent the 26th District, Smitherman was a trailblazer who helped pave the way for today’s Black Members Caucus. As chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, he championed legislation that created the University of Washington Tacoma, in addition to advancing bills on water quality and job training.
“Smitherman touched the lives of so many as a teacher, community leader and principled legislator. On behalf of the Black Members Caucus, I want to extend my sincere condolences to his family, and all those whose lives were changed for the better by his service.”