WHC Biographical Profile
Senator Rosa Franklin served as President Pro Tempore of the Washington State Senate
from 2001-2002 and from 2005-2010 during her years of service in the Senate from 1993
to 2010 and also served as Washington State Representative in Pierce County's 29th district
from 1991 to 1993. Ms. Franklin graduated from the University of Puget Sound and
received her MS (Masters in Social Science and Human Relations) from Pacific Lutheran
University in 1974. Ms. Franklin was the first African-American woman elected to
the Washington State Senate. She retired in 2010.
- Bates Technical College, advisory board.
- Cancer Screening Program for Targeted populations, advisory committee.
- Cascade Regional Blood Services, board member.
- Pierce County AIDS Walk.
- South End Neighborhood for Family Safety.
- Board of Directors—Sound Health, 1970s.
- Charles Daw Sickle Cell Board, 1970s.
- Chair, minority Health Committee, 1970s.
Past and Present Affiliations
- AHEC Board, Western Region
- Pierce County League of Women Voters’ Speakers Bureau
- Safe Streets
- Tacoma Urban League
Legislator of the Year, Washington State Labor Council, 2004;Inducted into the Washington
State Nurses Association Hall of Fame, 2002; Stafford Study Club; Outstanding Volunteer,
Pierce County Government; Honorary Citizen, Citizen of Tacoma; Washington Assn.
of Community College Women's Programs; Pierce County Nurses Association; Democratic
Woman of the Year, Washington State Federation of Democratic Women; Thurgood Marshall
Award, African Americans Port of Tacoma; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for Western
Regions, Regional Directors Distinguished Public Service Award; Breaking the Glass
Ceiling Award, 2001, Washington Women's Political Caucus; Lifetime Achievement,
Washington State Democratic Party, 2000; Girl Scouts of America, Pacific Peak, 1999
Woman of Distinction; Outstanding Non-Veteran, 1995; Ever Active Tribute to Excellence
Award, 1995. Honorary Firefighters Awards-Local 31, Tacoma-2005; Benedict Good Samaritan
Waverley Nurses, Mary L. Little Award; Outstanding Contribution to the Profession
of Nursing and as an Advocate for Social Justice, August 2005; Pierce County DUI
and Traffic Safety Award 2003; American Cancer Society recognition Award for demonstrated
Commitment to fight Cancer.
Legislative & State Service
- First African-American female elected to the Washington State Senate
- Joint Select Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs
- Appointed January 25, 1993 to serve unexpired term for Senator A.L. "Slim" Rasmussen,
elected to this position on November 3, 1993
- 1991 Committees: Housing, vice-chair; Commerce and Labor; Health Care; Local Government
- 1993 Committees: Health and Human Services; Natural Resources; Rules
- 1995 Committees: Human Services and Corrections, vice-chair; Health and Long-Term
Care; Labor, Commerce, and Trade; Rules
- 1997 Committees: Commerce and Labor;
- 1999 Committees: Labor and Workforce Development, vice-chair; Health and Long-Term
Care; Human Services and Corrections; Rules
- 2001 Committees: Health and Long-Term Care, vice-chair; Rules, vice-chair; Human
Services and Corrections; Labor, Commerce and Financial Institutions
- 2003 Committees: Commerce & Trade; Health & Long-Term Care; Rules
- 2007 Committees: Health & Long-Term Care; Rules, Financial Institutions and Insurance;
labor Commerce Research and Development.
Leadership, Positions & Appointments
- President ProTempore, 2007
- Democratic Assistant Floor Leader, 2003
- President Pro Tempore, 2001
- Majority Whip, 1999
- Democratic Whip, 1997
- Vice President Pro Tempore, 1995
- Democratic precinct committeewoman for the 29th district, 1972-Present
- Ran for Tacoma City Council in 1973 and lost
- Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1976, 1988 (Three-time National
- Pierce County Democrats, vice-chair
- Pierce County Planning Commission, 8 years
- Tacoma Citizzen Budget Review Committee