First elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 2010, David was appointed unanimously by the Metropolitan King County Council to represent the 46th District in the state Senate in 2011 following the tragic passing of Sen. Scott White. Voters retained him in 2012 to serve the remaining two years of the open Senate term and he was re-elected in 2014 for a full term in the Senate. Though his party has been in the minority for most of his time in the Senate, David has nevertheless earned a reputation as an energetic and effective legislator able to pass progressive legislation and local funding priorities through a conservative body by working with both Democrats and Republicans.

After graduating with honors from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991, David served on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. as an aide to U.S. Rep. Romano Mazzoli, a senior member of the House Judiciary and Small Business committees. In this role, he worked on a variety of issues including consumer protection from misleading tobacco advertising, campaign finance reform and minority small business development. He also served as the main press aide for Rep. Mazzoli.

In the mid-1990s, David moved to California to work in public policy and marketing for a telecommunications firm. He subsequently worked at the University of California San Francisco School of Public Health as a research assistant on a project that analyzed the use of tobacco industry sponsored science on the debate surrounding the health effects of secondhand smoke. He returned to law school in 1995 and earned his JD from UCLA in 1998. Summer clerkships included a short stint in the civil division of the US Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles and with the Seattle-based law firm of Riddell Williams, which then hired him on as an associate lawyer in 1998.

From 1998 to 2000, David practiced employment and business law at Riddell. In 2000 he joined a boutique litigation practice in Seattle, eventually becoming one of the principal partners in the firm. Bergman, Draper & Frockt became one of the leading Northwest law firms representing asbestos cancer victims, many of whom were union workers from the industrial trades in shipyards, power plants, refineries and paper mills around the Puget Sound. David has since left the firm in order to accommodate his public service obligations. David and his wife Rebecca  live in North Seattle and are the proud parents of 14-year-old twins.

Awards & Recognitions

David has been recognized for his work by Washington Conservation Voters, Washington State Labor Council, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Washington Community Action Network, and Washington Alliance For Gun Responsibility.

Specific awards include:

  • Recognized as a Housing Hero by the Low Income Housing Alliance
  • Earned an early learning Golden Crayon award from the Early Learning Action Alliance for leadership on early learning issues in the Legislature
  • Recognized by the Foster Parents Association of Washington as a legislative award winner
  • Washington Ceasefire Ancil Payne Civic Leader of the Year Award – 2016
  • MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) Washington – Legislative Champion – 2016
  • Washington State Medical Association – Legislator of the Year – 2015
  • Neighborcare Health Community Health Advocate Award – 2015
  • Seattle Public Schools  In Recognition For Leadership – 2015
  • Washington Low Income Housing Alliance – Hero for Homes award – 2014
  • Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness Legislative Champion award – 2013
  • Early Learning Action Alliance Gold Crayon award – 2012
  • Recognized as Legislator of the Year in 2012 by the Washington Student Association, the key lobbying group for college students in Washington
  • Statewide Poverty Action Network In Recognition For Leadership On The Foreclosure Fairness Act  – 2011
  • Washington Home Visiting Coalition – For Leadership – 2011
  • Fuse Washington Sizzle Award – Strongman Award – 2011
  • SEIU 775 NW – Legislator of the Year – 2011
  • Washington Dental Access Campaign – In Recognition For Leadership

A partial list of David’s legislative accomplishments in the Senate, 2012-17

  • After a wave of mass shootings around the country, including the Santa Barbara mass shooting in 2014, David developed and drafted legislation for Extreme Risk Protection Orders to provide a mechanism for family members and law enforcement to remove weapons from individuals who were suicidal or otherwise exhibiting threatening behavior or tendencies.  SB 5727, introduced, in 2015, did not pass the Legislature but formed the basis for a successful statewide initiative, I-1491, to create this legal framework. With the support of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, I-1491 passed in 2016 with over 69 percent of the vote statewide and in almost every county in Washington.
  • In the summer of 2016, David served on the task force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing. The recommendations from this task force formed the basis for SB 5073, David’s legislation to find common ground on the thorny issue of Washington’s deadly use of force statute. David continues to play in an integral role in this legislative effort.
  • Led a two-year effort to secure capital funding from the state for the Meridian Center For Health in North Seattle which was an innovative public-private partnership run by Neighborcare Health to provide integrated behavioral, physical and dental health to low-income Seattleites. The Meridian Center is today one of the shining examples of what integrated health care should look like in the days of health care reform. David received the Community Health Advocate award from Neighborcare in recognition of this critical work.
  • Sponsored The Fair Tenant Screening Act which required landlords to disclose information about their tenant screening processes to prospective tenants and provides a way for tenants to respond if housing is denied on the basis of information in those screening reports.
  • Sponsored The Homeless Student Education Act, the first time in state history that the growing population of homeless students in our state was tracked and disaggregated in order to provide the clearest picture of their outcomes and needs. A few years later, David joined Rep. Jake Fey to pass the Homeless Student Stability Act in order to build upon this data and provide additional homeless student support services and housing grants to school districts around the state.
  • Sponsored The Bright Futures Act, providing funding for autism and disability screenings for young children.
  • Sponsored The Washington College Savings Plan, a new college savings program for Washington families.
  • Sponsored the Prudent Parent bill to allow foster caregivers the ability to allow children placed in their care to participate in normal childhood activities.
  • Sponsored The Parent for Parent Act, an innovative program to allow parents seeking to restore parental rights, the mentorship of others who have been in that position. Language from his bill to evaluate incentive performance funding models for higher education were incorporated into a Senate budget.
  • Passed Transportation Benefit District Rebate authority for Seattle. This measure was designed to address the regressive nature of some local option funding mechanisms for transportation and transit packages. Concepts were incorporated into recently passed local transportation packages. Helped secure funding for the Northgate Pedestrian Bridge and other local priorities in the 2015 Transportation package.
  • Led a workgroup to make recommendations for the continued viability of the College Bound scholarship program and subsequently passed legislation to implement those recommendations. Established a track record as one of the strongest supporters in the Legislature of College Bound, the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship and the College Success Foundation.
  • Co-sponsored a version of the Washington Dream Act and has introduced legislation to expand the act to ensure Dreamers are eligible for College Bound.
  • Key leader in restoring funding for the Health Loan Repayment Program to encourage health care providers in underserved areas as well as for investment in children’s mental health.
  • A key backer for expanding access to dental care through longtime sponsorship of the mid-level provider legislation. Led the effort to fund dental residencies and to establish a new capital program to invest in dental expansion in community health centers around the state including in the Seattle area. This funding is included in the current versions of the 2017 capital budget.
  • As lead Democratic capital budget writer, will appropriate over $1 billion in K-12 school construction investments in 2017-18, the largest in state history.  Served as lead Seattle senator on securing more than $30 million in specific capital appropriations over several budget cycles to renovate and expand schools in the Seattle district to deal with overcrowding issues.  Secured an additional $15-20 million for this effort in the 2017 pending capital budget and has received special recognition from Seattle Public Schools for efforts in this space.
  • Completed service on the Education Funding Task Force charged with providing recommendations to the Legislature on how to fully fund K-12 education.
  • Secured funding for Lake Forest Park and Kenmore to improve flood controls, transportation improvements to route 522 and local development projects.
  • Secured funding for low-income and workforce housing at Magnuson Park and potentially for its community center (pending in 2017 capital budget).
  • Passed SB 6226, which established a 12-month authorization period for the state’s Working Connections Childcare Program. The bill, several years in the making, was designed to reduce bureaucratic overhead and provide more certainty for low-income families who know they will have steady and dependable childcare in order to allow them to find steady work. Recent studies from WSU and the federal government supported this policy change.
  • HB 2614, which provides consumer protections for short sale homeowners, was the companion to the Senate bill sponsored by David. The bill creates a notice mechanism for short sale homeowners to be informed of whether the bank will pursue remaining debt if the home is sold for less than the amount owed. The bill also reduces the amount of time, from six years to three years, in which lenders may pursue that deficiency.
  • HB 2216, which increased sentencing to the manslaughter range for DUI vehicular homicide cases, was the companion to the Senate bill sponsored by David. Current law provided a sentencing range of 31 to 41 months, with a typical work or home release in 24 months. This was one of the major priorities for prosecutors as well as for families of several recent high-profile DUI-related tragedies in Seattle and around the Puget Sound region. David was also lead Democratic co-sponsor for SB 5037, which finally passed in 2017, and which improves Washington’s notoriously weak felony DUI standards.
  • HB 2239, which establishes a new type of corporate form in Washington: the social purpose corporation. David sponsored the Senate companion bill and helped to move the legislation to the governor’s desk. This measure allows corporations to operate under an innovative corporate form that will allow entrepreneurs and companies more flexibility to adopt corporate goals other than maximizing profits.
  • Sponsored legislation to support the use of biosimilars (akin to the utilization of generics) in health care treatment and passed omnibus healthcare privacy legislation (SB 6265) that incorporated concepts from both parties and both chambers.
  • Fought aggressively for enhanced funding for the higher education system to ensure a tuition freeze in the 2013-15 budget and continues to be one of the strongest and best-known advocates for higher education investment in higher education.
  • Sponsored legislation with then state Sen. Pramila Jayapal to establish a universal community college program for all Washingtonians.
  • Introduced broad-based progressive tax reform legislation to fund both higher education and K-12.

David’s Accomplishments While Serving in the House, 2011

  • Key architect in the House of the legal and political strategy to overturn Tim Eyman’s unconstitutional two-thirds law for raising needed tax revenues. HB 2078, which would have ended a significant tax loophole for interest on first mortgages held by major out of state banks, was critical. Though this statute failed to pass in 2011 due to Eyman’s two-thirds rule for passage of tax legislation, the true purpose of this effort was to set up a test case for the Supreme Court and David became one of the lead legislator plaintiffs in the case. In 2013, the Washington Supreme Court, in the case of League of Education Voters v. Washington, ruled that Eyman’s law, which had been on the books in one form or another since the early 1990s, was unconstitutional. This interpretation has since been upheld in the state Senate on two separate occasions since the court’s 2013 ruling.
  • Lead sponsor of legislation protecting Washington’s urban lakes and waterways from storm water runoff containing carcinogenic coal tar sealants, making Washington the first state in the country to pass a ban on the use of these products.
  • Lead sponsor of legislation revising the legal standards for the lifting of long-term domestic violence protection orders to ensure that women remain protected.
  • Passed legislation designed to lead to a more efficient regulatory environment for public schools in Seattle and around the state to host pre- and after-school programs.
  • Helped procure a capital appropriation for Children’s Hospital and fought to restore a key funding formula for the hospital to backfill funds lost due to Medicaid rate payment cuts.
  • Was one of six legislators to sponsor an amendment to the House budget that would have restored cuts in teacher pay.
  • HB 1652, which provides a civil legal remedy for individuals impersonated on social networking and online bulletin board sites, is the second of its kind in the country and was supported by the Washington Technology Industry Association. David first sponsored this bill as a member of the House.

University of Pennsylvania, BA, Political Science, Cum Laude, 1991
UCLA, JD, 1998