Monday, October 10, 2011

Albert D. Rosellini, Former Gov and UW Law Grad

Former Gov. Rosellini dies at 101,, Oct. 10, 2011.

To learn more, see Payton Smith, Rosellini: Immigrants' Son and Progressive Governor, F895.22.R67 S65 1997 at Classified Stacks. Publisher's page.

More than any other person, Rosellini was responsible for the long overdue restructuring of the state's prison and mental health systems, introducing both fiscal and human accountability. His interest in transportation led to the Evergreen Point, Hood Canal, Astoria-Megler, and Goldendale bridges as well as an expanded highway system. His reforms in state budgeting brought the state's financial decisions into the daylight, making detailed scrutiny and accountability possible for the first time, while his work on commerce and trade helped bring the state into its modern position as a player in the Pacific Rim economies. He was a legislative father of the University of Washington's medical/dental schools, and his support of higher education enriched the state's universities and colleges and created a sound, comprehensive junior college system.

Rosellini was the first Italian-American and the first Catholic governor west of the Mississippi. The only son of immigrant parents, he worked to support his family while finishing high school in three years and then passed the bar exam at age twenty-three. Six years later he was elected to the Washington State Senate as its youngest member. One of the New Deal Democratic majority, he quickly gained an insight into the legislative process that served him throughout his career.

No comments: