NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

June Robinson appointed to Washington State Senate, Emily Wicks to State House in 38th

Vet­er­an Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­is­la­tor June Robin­son will take the place of now-retired State Sen­a­tor John McCoy in the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate, while Emi­ly Wicks will take Robin­son’s place in the House, the Sno­homish Coun­ty Coun­cil decid­ed today.

The Coun­cil’s actions restore the 38th Leg­isla­tive Dis­tric­t’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Olympia to its full strength. The 38th is a safe Demo­c­ra­t­ic dis­trict locat­ed whol­ly with­in Sno­homish Coun­ty. It is the City of Everett’s home leg­isla­tive dis­trict, and also encom­pass­es the com­mu­ni­ties of Marysville, Tulalip and Smokey Point.

McCoy had ably rep­re­sent­ed the 38th Dis­trict in the Sen­ate until his retire­ment sev­er­al weeks ago. The much beloved and wide­ly admired Sen­a­tor was one of Wash­ing­ton’s high­est pro­file Native Amer­i­can elect­ed lead­ers; he also served in Sen­ate Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus lead­er­ship as Cau­cus Chair.

Robin­son, six­ty, was a can­di­date for Speak­er of the House last year along with NPI’s Gael Tar­leton (D‑36th Dis­trict), Lau­rie Jink­ins (D‑27th Dis­trict), and Mon­i­ca Stonier (D‑49th Dis­trict). The posi­tion ulti­mate­ly went to Jink­ins, who recent­ly com­plet­ed her first ses­sion in the role, suc­ceed­ing Frank Chopp (D‑43rd Dis­trict).

Tar­leton is now run­ning for Sec­re­tary of State. Robin­son decid­ed to seek appoint­ment to the Sen­ate after McCoy’s announce­ment, and was the top choice of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic precinct com­mit­tee offi­cers in the 38th to suc­ceed McCoy. (The Sno­homish Coun­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, as required by the Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion, also sub­mit­ted two oth­er names.)

The Sno­homish Coun­ty Coun­cil con­curred that Robin­son was the log­i­cal choice, and vot­ed to appoint her at a meet­ing held this after­noon.

June Robinson swearing-in

State Sen­a­tor June Robin­son is sworn into her new posi­tion while observ­ing phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing guide­lines (Cour­tesy pho­to)

Sen­ate Democ­rats wast­ed no time in rolling out the wel­come mat.

“June Robin­son has ded­i­cat­ed her life to mak­ing the lives of oth­ers bet­ter,” said Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Andy Bil­lig (D‑3rd Dis­trict: Spokane).

“Through­out her career, she has com­mit­ted her­self to the improve­ment of pub­lic health for diverse pop­u­la­tions both here in Wash­ing­ton and in oth­er parts of the world,” Bil­lig’s state­ment added. “Her pub­lic health back­ground, bud­get expe­ri­ence and exper­tise in afford­able hous­ing are espe­cial­ly impor­tant now to the leg­is­la­ture and the entire state. The Sen­ate is for­tu­nate to wel­come a pub­lic ser­vant of June Robinson’s cal­iber and expe­ri­ence.”

Robin­son’s move to the Sen­ate left a vacan­cy in the House, which the Coun­cil filled by appoint­ing Emi­ly Wicks. Wicks will serve out the remain­der of Robin­son’s unex­pired term and must earn the con­fi­dence of vot­ers to remain in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives beyond the end of the year. (She is a can­di­date; hav­ing filed her paper­work on Mon­day with the Sec­re­tary of State.)

The Sno­homish Coun­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, act­ing on the rec­om­men­da­tion of its PCOs in the 38th, also nom­i­nat­ed activist and lob­by­ist Charles Adkins and NPI board­mem­ber Mario Brown for the posi­tion.

Adkins was ranked first, Wicks sec­ond, and Brown third on the par­ty’s list.

(The Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion does not require or even sug­gest that lists of nom­i­nees should be ranked, but the major polit­i­cal par­ties are in the habit of doing it any­way in an effort to influ­ence who gets picked to fill a vacan­cy.)

Wicks has pre­vi­ous­ly worked for Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee (when he was a can­di­date) and Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor Cyrus Habib (when he was a state leg­is­la­tor).

She is cur­rent­ly the Pres­i­dent of the Wash­ing­ton chap­ter of the Nation­al Wom­en’s Polit­i­cal Cau­cus, and has been involved in the Marysville YMCA and the Marysville School Dis­trict Foun­da­tion as well as Lead­er­ship Sno­homish Coun­ty.

Wicks is a grad­u­ate of Wash­ing­ton State Uni­ver­si­ty, with a B.A. in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence and a B.A. in Pub­lic Rela­tions.

Below is a copy of Wicks’ cur­ricu­lum vitae and ques­tion­naire respons­es, if you’re inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about her polit­i­cal posi­tions.

Resume and Q&A from Emi­ly Wicks

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Sen­a­tor Robin­son and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Wicks on their new respon­si­bil­i­ties! We look for­ward to work­ing with them to advance pro­gres­sive caus­es dur­ing this impor­tant pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cycle and beyond.

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