Senator Rosa Franklin Profile

Senator Rosa Franklin is history in the making. Senator Franklin is the first African-American female elected to the Washington State Senate. She began her political service to the people in Tacoma's 29th Legislative District where she was elected to the House of Representatives in 1990. She served in the House of Representatives until January 1993 when she was sworn in as the State Senator from the 29th Legislative District. Rosa is currently serving her third term as a Senator.

Her leadership roles in the Senate are a tribute to her accomplishments, as well as a symbol of the respect given her by the Senate body. She has served as President Pro Tem of the Senate, Vice-President Pro Tem and as Majority Whip of the Senate. Currently she serves as Democratic Assistant Floor Leader.

Senator Franklin is continually working for the good of the people. This year she introduced legislation to reform our states tax structure and a host of bills to protect and improve the lives of Washingtonians. She is the prime sponsor of the bills that were directed toward investigating and stopping Racial Profiling, stopping genetic discrimination, restoring the voting rights of ex-felons and creating a Joint Select Committee on Health Disparities. She works hard to improve the quality of life for Seniors and others. Often many of us must make a financial decision about choosing to pay rent, buy food or obtain prescription drugs to cure our diseases. The Senator has introduced bills dealing with improving access to as well as reducing the cost of prescription drugs.

Her service to the community is strongly depicted by her Civic
Activities: League of Women Voters; Tacoma Urban League; NAACP; Safe Streets; Bates Technical College Advisory Board; Cascade Regional Blood Services Board Member; Advisory Committee for Cancer Screening Program for Targeted populations; Board Member of the New Phoebe House for women recovering from substance abuse and working to be reunited with their children; and Area Health Education Center Board Western Region.

Politics is the Senator's second career. In her first career she dedicated her life's work to the service of those in need of health care. After graduating from Good Samaritan Waverly Hospital School of Nursing in Columbia, SC, she dedicated 42 years of life to the nursing profession. She continually improved her ability to serve those needing health care by receiving a B.A. and M.A. at the Universities of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran, respectfully. Also a Women's Health Care Certificate - Gynecorp Pro., UW. In 2006, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service by the University of Puget Sound.

The Senator has now retired from active nursing duties but as shown by her legislative bills, she has not stopped helping those in need of health care services. She continues to be engaged in health issues not only in Olympia, but also in communities statewide. She has received many awards for her work.

All of the above show a woman of renown accomplishment, but her greatest achievement is her marriage to husband James and her immediate family of three children and five grandchildren.

Those of us who know her love and respect her to the fullest and believe she is a beacon that others can follow.