Former Washington state legislator Kip Tokuda dies

SEATTLE — Former Washington State Legislator Kip Tokuda died of a heart attack on July 13, The Associated Press reported. He was 66.

The Seattle City Council issued the following statement on Tokuda’s passing, saying he “devoted his entire professional career to advancing the well-being of Washington’s children, and worked as a champion for families everywhere.

“Inspired by his own good fortune, Kip’s commitment to community, issues of social justice and looking out for our littlest learners was unmatched. He was known for doing what was right, and pursued policies, programs and budgets that unequivocally helped our city’s kids — and future generations — to flourish.”

Tokuda represented the city’s 37th district, serving four terms in the House of Representatives, during which time he advocated for those with developmental disabilities and was instrumental in the passage of a “Special Needs Adoption” bill, the statement said. As director of the city’s Human Services Department’s Youth and Family Empowerment Division, Tokuda worked to address the issues surrounding homeless youth, foster care and abuse prevention.

Earlier this year, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn appointed Tokuda to the Seattle Community Police Commission.

“Kip will be missed, but his legacy will live on in the spirit of those inspired by his service to children and community,” the statement said.

The Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation issued a statement mourning the loss of their “founder, community advocate and mentor to countless people in (the) community.”

Tokuda “opened his heart and home to countless people and taught them the meaning and importance of social justice, community empowerment and public service. He taught us how to lead with compassion and humility,” the statement said, adding that, “his kind words, encouragement and unconditional support helped many achieve their goals and motivated them to serve their community.”

Tokuda is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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