Nate's Time in Olympia - Althea Cawley-Murphree

At the end of his last year of college, Nate was selected to serve as a Legislative Intern in Olympia as a member of the intern class of 2000, a group self-title I2K. He worked for Senator Ken Jacobsen, a liberal Democrat from Seattle’s 46th Legislative District. Nate returned to work for Jacobsen in 2001 and 2002 as a Session Aid, in between a series of major trips. Bright, articulate, personable and always highly motivated, Nate had many professional options in life. Although he ultimately chose neither a career in politics or in public policy, he made significant contributions as an intern and staffer. He was admired and respected by those he worked with and became good friends with many of his coworkers.

“It was an amazing experience,” Nate wrote to friends a few months after his internship. “As most of you probably know, politics is one of my passions and the work in Olympia really opened my eyes to the realities of policy making. I was startled and refreshed that the Senators and Representatives all seemed to have the best interests of their constituents in mind when making decisions… even Republicans! The difference between parties and the basis for most of the substantive debates were assumptions about what government can do to alleviate or address the citizens’ concerns and which concerns are most important. I’ve never aligned myself with a party, but I now consider myself a D, because not too much they believe pissed me off (far less than the Rs) and part politics is the reality of our system; not much gets done independently.”

The Legislative Internship was designed to be both educational for the intern and helpful for the legislator. Nate received a glowing evaluation from Jacobsen at the end of the session for his work conducting policy, issue and bill research, drafting correspondence, handling community, constituent and media relations, and performing other administrative duties. One of his most significant projects was drafting a letter for all three legislators from the 46th district to sign. “Nate’s work was rarely edited, and it was of superior quality,” wrote Jacobsen. “The style, substance, tone, spelling and grammatical aspects of his writing were outstanding and effective.” Jacobsen also particularly appreciated Nate’s professionalism, his positive attitude, his initiative, his ethical standards (which Jacobsen described as beyond reproach), and his ability to prioritize projects. “He performed very well under stress which can be very high at times during the legislative session. He was always professional and expedient and never ‘lost his cool’”, wrote Jacobsen.

Recognizing how well he was suited to work in the political world, Nate was recruited to work as a campaign manager for several legislative candidates and considered moving to Washington, D.C. to work for Congress. “After a while, I realized that I was only doing it because it was what I felt I was ‘supposed’ to…. [I] decided to say no and travel for awhile,” Nate wrote to friends.


In the rising of the sun and in its going down, We remember them. When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them. When we are lost and sick at heart, We remember them. When we have joys we yearn to share, We remember them. So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us, as We remember them.

- Rabbi's Manual