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Dave Upthegrove began his public service career in 2001. He became the first openly gay State Representative from outside the City of Seattle in the history of the State of Washington. Since then, he has effectively championed environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, and social justice for the people of South King County.

He served five terms in the Legislature, where as Chair of the House Environment Committee, he promoted environmental stewardship and equitable transportation policies—leading successful efforts to create the Puget Sound Partnership and shut down our state’s last polluting coal plant. 

In 2013, the people of South King County elected Dave to be their voice and vote on the King County Council. Dave’s work has been guided by the people in the community he represents. By working with the community to champion local priorities in major initiatives such as the Best Start for Kids Levy or the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy, Dave has helped ensure that community needs in South King County are recognized and funded.

Working together with the community, Dave has increased funding for affordable housing, secured shelter funding in South King County, and advocated for the Health through Housing plan which will help move 2000 chronically homeless individuals into secure housing with support services.

He has led progressive criminal justice reform, expanding a successful diversion program into Burien, decriminalizing fare enforcement at Metro, and strengthening civilian oversight of the King County Sheriff’s Office.

A long-time environmentalist, Dave led the charge to ban new fossil fuel facilities in King County. He has championed an aggressive Climate Action Plan informed by the voices of marginalized communities. As Chair of the King County Flood Control District, he has prioritized (doubled funding for) habitat restoration for our iconic Chinook salmon and Puget Sound Orca while ensuring people remain safe.

In his role as Chair of the Regional Transportation Committee, Dave has fought for changes in how we allocate bus service to better meet the needs of low-income diverse communities in South King County.

As we look to the future, Dave believes we must build upon this strong foundation we have created together—building a more prosperous, healthy, South King County.

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

Dave grew up in South King County and currently lives in Des Moines with his husband Chad and their orange tabby cat, Dobby . 

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