King County Councilmember and Environmental Champion Dave Upthegrove Announces Campaign for Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands

Des Moines, WA - King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove announced his campaign today for Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands. 

“Voters expect the Commissioner of Public Lands to be an environmental champion.  I am excited to be that champion and continue the work I’ve done to combat climate change, support responsible conservation and protect Puget Sound,” said Dave Upthegrove. 

“I will oppose leasing of aquatic lands for coal export terminals. We need to respect tribal treaty rights and create jobs by investing in environmental cleanup and renewable energy, not by building massive coal export terminals,” added Upthegrove.

Upthegrove is endorsed in this campaign by former Governor Chris Gregoire, U.S. Representative Adam Smith, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, and dozens of State Legislators and Mayors from around the state.  

Dave Upthegrove started out as a grassroots organizer in the environmental movement. Born and raised in South King County, Dave began his public service career as a legislative assistant with Senator Kathleen Drew and then-Senator Julia Patterson. In 2001, Upthegrove was unanimously appointed by the King County Council to fill a vacancy in the state House of Representatives. He served five terms in the Legislature, where he championed transportation and environmental stewardship. In 2007, he sponsored legislation creating the Puget Sound Partnership, and is former chairman of the Select Committee on Puget Sound and the House Environment Committee. He was awarded the “Legislator of the Year” by the Washington Conservation Voters in 2011. 

 Upthegrove’s environmental roots run deep in Washington State. His late grandfather. Jim Casey, was the Planning Director for the US Bureau of Reclamation in the late 1960s and early 1970s. For his work on the establishment of the Rosa Irrigation District, Dave’s grandfather was given the key to the City of Yakima.

 Upthegrove has also worked on a wide variety of issues to protect jobs and neighborhoods in South King County. He sponsored legislation to require industrial polluters pay to test and cleanup playgrounds contaminated with lead and arsenic, led Sound Transit light rail alignment negotiations, and directed investments for flood protection along the Green River.

 Upthegrove received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Conservation with a minor in Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Certificate in Energy Policy Planning from the University of Idaho. 

 A certified basketball official, Councilmember Upthegrove serves as a basketball referee for youth and adult basketball leagues throughout the region. 



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