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Adam S.
Democrat WA 9

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  • A Tribute to the Life of Kip Tokuda

    by Representative Adam Smith

    Posted on 2013-08-01

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    SMITH of washington in the house of representatives Thursday, August 1, 2013 Mr. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Speaker, we rise today to honor the life of Kip Tokuda, and pay tribute to his leadership, service, and dedication to the citizens of the State of Washington.

    Kip was a Seattle native and a graduate of the University of Washington. Following completion of his graduate studies in social work in 1969, Kip entered public service as a social worker with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services and gained a reputation for being a strong advocate for children and individuals with disabilities. He was later named to the Washington Council for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

    The second son of parents who were incarcerated at the Minidoka Relocation Center, Kip possessed an unwavering sense of justice and equality. A prominent figure within the Asian American community, he served as the president of Seattle's chapter of Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)--an organization which is the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization. In 1998, Kip went on to found the Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation, a non- profit organization that focuses on social justice, community empowerment, and public service.

    Beginning in 1994, Kip served as a Representative for Washington State's 37th Legislative District. During his four terms in the Washington State Legislature, he enjoyed many legislative successes. He introduced his first Day of Remembrance resolution in 1997, which has since become an annual tradition in the Legislature. He served as the co-prime sponsor, along with Representative Mike Wensmen of House Bill 1572, which created the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education fund in 2000. Kip also secured passage of the Special Needs Adoption bill, which helped adoption of special-needs children. He was a strong advocate who helped to pass the Homeless Children's Lawsuit legislation, which provided services for over 60,000 homeless families with children.

    Mr. Speaker, it is with great honor that we recognize the life of Kip Tokuda--a true trailblazer. We ask our colleagues to join us in honoring a long career of selfless and inspired service to his community, the State of Washington, and our Nation.


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