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Franklin retiring from Legislature

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on May 4, 2010 at 10:55 am with 27 Comments »
May 4, 2010 11:53 am

Sen. Rosa Franklin won’t run for re-election, she told legislators and staff in an e-mail today, announcing her retirement after two decades in the House and Senate.

Franklin, 83, a Democrat and retired nurse from Tacoma, has the largely ceremonial post of Senate president pro tempore, and presides when Lt. Gov. Brad Owen is away.

The decision was made at a “family meeting,” she said. She said she would miss the legislative debates, but she’s leaving satisfied that her time in the Legislature made a difference.

Now I am saying “operator let me off this ride – it is someone else’s turn.”   Everyone should try it once!

Franklin represents the 29th District, including Tacoma’s South End and parts of Lakewood and University Place and unincorporated Pierce County.

The urban district is solidly Democratic, so her departure is unlikely to affect the partisan balance in the Senate. It hasn’t elected a Republican since the Great Depression.

Franklin was elected to the House in 1990 and appointed to her Senate seat in 1993 after the death of A.L. “Slim” Rasmussen. She has won-re-election four times since then.

Franklin said in an interview she would return to being a community organizer, trying to school young people in civics and get community groups involved in their government.

Here’s the full e-mail:

Hello Colleagues and Staff,

A recent family meeting the decision has been made that it’s time for me to move on.  Twenty years has been a roller coaster ride, had its high points and low points, beautiful scenery and mud puddles.  All said and done it was worth it all.  Now I am saying “operator let me off this ride – it is someone else’s turn”.   Everyone should try it once!

It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve the people of the 29th District and the State of Washington.  I do believe that my time was well spent and my being in the legislature made a difference.  In fact, that is what supporters, constituents, family and friends tell me.  Thanks to each one of you for contributing to a productive and exhilarating ride.

It is difficult to say that I am retiring from the Senate; therefore I’ll just say that I am not seeking re-election.  I will miss the fast pace of legislative sessions and the debate on public policy.  I plan to continue working to make our communities, state and nation live up to the principles on which they were founded and that the constitution represents all of us and not a select few.   Remember always to be brave and take risks.  That is the only way change is made.

Again, thanks, it has been a pleasure to serve.

Senator Rosa Franklin


Leave a comment Comments → 27
  1. Senator Franklin,
    Thank you for your strong commitment to the citizens of Tacoma and the state of Washington.

  2. lonergan says:

    Senator Franklin was so kind to me when I first ran for Tacoma City Council ten years ago– she made one of the first contributions to my campaign fund, and she helped steer me around several pitfalls on the campaign trail. Then after I was elected, she helped us new Council members find State support for fixing up Stewart Heights Park, among other things.

  3. Kcav1438 says:

    One more step on the way to tax sanity.

  4. Kcav1438 says:

    Could you talk Lisa Brown into retiring as well?

  5. tomwa007 says:

    Whew, about time. I own a business in her diistrict but do not live and vote there. She has never been a voice for me.

  6. tacomajoe says:

    Normally, I never hear from her until I get a mailer a few weeks before the election, reminding me of her “accomplishments.” I’m glad that the one time she reaches out to the community aside from her election propaganda, it is a message saying that she is quitting. Buh-bye!

  7. Maybe when she first got into office she had something to offer, she stayed too long.

  8. Kcav1438 says:

    One more reason we need term limits. Too bad these Gov reps are in it for a career now instead of what it should be about –which is service. I wonder how many of these elected reps would do what they do if they did not recieve a pay check and generous benefits??? Guys like Norm Dicks, Chrissy, Adam — been around waaaaayyyy too long. It’s a dis-service to the people of this state to make a career out of being an elected public official. Especially the ones who have never had a “real” job–like Adam Smith.

  9. katrina1 says:

    Thank you for your service Rosa – but I am sooo hopeful that your replacement won’t be pushing an income tax like you did this past session!! Time for a change!!

  10. MeDaMCSE says:

    Senator Franklin, Thank you for your service. Those of us who are involved in what goes on in our community and state KNOW the difference you’ve made and will feel the loss.

    To those who are uninvolved and sit by and make uniformed and useless comments, Maybe you should get off your brain and try being a LEADER.

  11. BigSwingingRichard says:

    This is good news, perhaps you could get the gov and our two state senators and the mayor of Tacoma to join you in retirement. For this, I am an at Hope kid.

  12. rj99352 says:

    Well, that’s one less we have to vote out of office. Wish all them tax-and-spend Democrats would decide to retire. Maybe Washington State could fix their budget problems quicker.

  13. sunup500 says:

    Kcav……..They can’t make a career out of politics if they are voted out of office . It has been done before, but not by blogging or complaining about it here. You have to get off your chair, join up with a grass roots movement of your choice, and maybe run for office if you think you have what it takes.
    Rosa is bowing out gracefully after many years of service ( FYI elected into office democratically), and deserves a hearty adieu from all of us. It isn’t easy to take all the flak from malcontents no matter what you do, and yet she has weathered it so well, for so long. I had the pleasure of making her acquaintance, and found her absolutely nothing short of a pleasure to speak to I have not always agreed in her choices, but always found her open to discussion on the points. In todays’ polarized political arena, she is a rarity indeed.

    I wish her the very best in whatever her pusuits may be. Thank you Senator Rosa Franklin.

  14. Kcav1438 says:

    Well lets see we voted out Chrissy and then through a divine miracle they found just enough votes to steal an election from Dino Rossi. So yes term limits are needed– as evidenced by the fraud committed during the Rossi election stealing and heck even through in Cantwell… many a mysterious votes to beat Gorton.. And this isn’t complaining it’s painting the truth which the media should do but never does–unless its framed in a left leaning way. And i know for a fact I am invloved in more grass roots, charities, and service clubs then you ever will be…

  15. RetiredContractor says:


  16. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Good riddance to another socialist democrat!!!!

  17. burigit says:

    A wonderful woman, she was very helpful to us whenever we needed her support. Thank you for all your hard work! Best wishes Rosa!!

  18. lovethemountains says:

    MeDaMCSE, since when is it uninvolved, uninformed and useless to comment about a politician with whom you disagree?

  19. GiveItaRest says:

    This is the best news I’ve heard in a long time. Good riddance Rosa!

  20. special__k says:

    Good ridance Rosa. Bout time to get out of dodge huh. Did you feel threatened in the next election. Because you should have. Alot of people who don’t usually get involved are going to be out there trying to oust as many of your tax raising politicians who ignore the mandate put forth by the people to control state spending. Glad to see you leave.

  21. t_Johnson says:

    Are we better off?

  22. tommy98466 says:

    Its about time. Good ridence!!!

  23. A simple show of respect should be given to Senator Franklin that at the age of 83 years old has decided to retire.

  24. tree_guy says:

    I heard her interviewed on the Dori Monson show. She sounded like a sweet old grandma. And just like a sweet old grandma she was completely perplexed by the simplest of questions. She really didn’t belong in the legislature. She should be home soaking her feet and watching reruns of The Golden Girls.

  25. tacomajoe says:

    MeDaMCSE – this lady works for the citizens, not the other way around. If people don’t like her performance – and there was plenty not to like – then it is the citizenry’s RIGHT to tell her what a wretched job she did. Get off your high horse and don’t forget who is boss in this country!

  26. erkhvd says:

    There is a god after all. Now if she would just take Frank and Lisa ans well as the Gov it would be an even better day….

    Thanks for retiering, to bad you did not do it 20 some years ago…………

  27. tomwa007 says:

    tacomajoe as I said earlier, she works for us but only who vote for her. I have a business in her district but can not vote for her and she does not represent me at all. Good ridance to a tired old woman who I really appreciate but is not longer relevant.

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