WEEKEND SCENE: Farewell party for longtime local advocate James Rasmussen

(Photo by Tom Reese)

One our area’s most-passionate advocates is retiring and moving away. As noted in our daily event list, a gathering Saturday in South Park was a sendoff for James Rasmussen, who’s spent 20 years with the Duwamish River Community Coalition, most recently as its Superfund Manager. from the DRCC’s announcement of his departure:

Having represented the Duwamish Tribe on the organization’s Advisory Council for 10 years before joining the staff as Executive Director/Coordinator, as a member of the Duwamish Tribal Council for 26 years, and as the founding Director of the Duwamish Tribe’s Longhouse and Cultural Center, James has been a consistent and active voice in environmental, habitat, and community issues along the Duwamish River and in the Seattle region for over 30 years. He played a fundamental role in the Environmental Protection Agency’s formation of the Duwamish Superfund Roundtable, which will inform the next phase of the Cleanup Plan, and is a beloved and legendary figure within the community as well as further afield for his great depth of knowledge of the River, its history, as well as the science of the Superfund cleanup.

James is much sought-after as a public speaker and allyship for his serene yet tireless advocacy for a clean and healthy River and River Valley. He will be missed greatly and we wish him a peaceful and satisfying retirement—as Duwamish Valley community members, we owe him a debt that can never be repaid. He has our deep gratitude for pushing policy-makers and Responsible Parties to work towards a better environment.

Rasmussen is moving to Las Vegas to be with family. With him in the photo above are, at left, DRCC executive director Paulina López and, center, Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen. One month ago, when the tribe announced its legal action to secure full federal recognition, Rasmussen was among the speakers, declaring, “The recovery of the Duwamish River must include the restoration of the Duwamish Tribe.”

3 Replies to "WEEKEND SCENE: Farewell party for longtime local advocate James Rasmussen"

  • KayK June 12, 2022 (9:23 pm)

    Thank you for your work on behalf of the community.

  • wssz June 13, 2022 (6:03 am)

    James was essential to helping us know the history of the Black River, the second sacred home of the Duwamish.  I will forever be grateful to him for all his exceptional work and support in our efforts to protect it. I wish him very well in everything he does. We will miss him tremendously. He leaves a remarkable legacy here. 

  • Linda L. BLACKINTON (Thurston) June 19, 2022 (4:55 pm)

    James was essential in working with NOAA on the Duwamish River cleanup and the Terminal 5 setup years ago.  I happened to meet up with him during those two projects.  I hope for good wishes in his future endeavors.  He will be missed.  I was just thinking of him a few days ago.  This must be why.  Hy’eshka (Samish goodbye and goodluck).

Sorry, comment time is over.