Former Sen. Margarita Prentice, ‘a force’ who fought for farmworkers, dies at 88

Margarita Prentice, former Senator for the 11th Legislative District, has died. Here’s a nice write-up from the Seattle Times:

When Margarita Prentice disagreed with you, you knew it.

“She let you have it,” said Mike Gempler, executive director of the Washington Growers League.

Incensed about child labor on Washington farms, Prentice, the first Latina elected to the Legislature, once called the practice the “moral equivalent of child pornography.” Growers, who felt they were offering job opportunities to kids, a summer tradition, were stung, Gempler said.

But over Sen. Prentice’s quarter-century in the Legislature, from 1988 to 2013, something unexpected happened: The fierce farmworker advocate developed a warm relationship with Gempler. She was interested in the success of growers as well as their employees and, despite disagreement over issues, would sometimes call just to see how Gempler was doing, he said.

In the best of ways, it wasn’t politics as usual. Little about Sen. Prentice — who entered the Legislature at 57 after a long career in nursing and rose to some of the most powerful positions in the Senate — was.

On April 2, suffering from heart problems, she died at her Bryn Mawr-Skyway home sitting in her favorite chair with her dog on her lap, according to family members. She was 88.

The rest of the article is here:

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