Statement on the passing of Sen. John McCoy from Commerce Director Mike Fong

“It is with heavy hearts that the Department of Commerce sends condolences to the Tulalip Tribes and the family of Senator John McCoy.

Sen John McCoy photo

John McCoy

We credit the late Senator John McCoy with being the first tribal leader that recognized the value of a strong partnership between the tribes and the Department of Commerce. He was described as being incredibly patient and caring while working with Commerce staff and carefully leading them down a path of learning how to be a good partner to tribal communities. He routinely went out of his way to be personally available to anyone at Commerce who had a question or needed guidance.

He was one of the first tribal people elected to the Washington State Legislature and continued to serve for more than 10 years. His list of accomplishments is long and ranges from passing ground breaking legislation to holding positions of leadership within the state legislature but we argue his true impact is his legacy; a legacy of strong yet gentle leadership and embracing the value of partnership.

Through our grief and sorrow we find comfort in knowing that the best way to honor his life and legacy is to carry on his work and strengthen communities through thoughtful partnerships.”

— Washington State Commerce Director Mike Fong

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