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Statement on the Passing of Bill Gates, Sr.

SEATTLE — United States Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) issued the following statement tonight regarding the passing of Bill Gates, Sr.:

“From his legal aid work at home to his global health work abroad, Bill Gates Sr. dedicated his life to social justice, equal justice and lifting others up. He was kind, generous and fully engaged—always ready to go above and beyond to make the Pacific Northwest and the world a better place.

“As the president of the Washington State Bar Association, he led the organization to use their resources and abilities to help the poor and less fortunate. The University of Washington honored this dedicated work and commitment to serving the community by appropriately naming their Public Service Law Program after him. Later in his life, he also invested in fighting the AIDS epidemic as he helped to steer the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s international development work.

“It was my honor to have had the opportunity to witness his big heart and generosity firsthand when I worked with him on a statewide ballot initiative that he was leading, which would have levied a tax on Washington’s richest residents and put that money towards education and health care services. The newly created Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also immediately gave the organization I created—Hate Free Zone—our very first grant following our launch in the fall of 2001. This lifelong commitment to investing in the future success and growth of our community, this region and the world made Bill Gates, Sr. someone whose enormous impact will be felt for decades to come.

“I extend my deepest condolences to his wife Mimi and their entire family. Our community and region are with them today and in the days ahead.”