Cal Anderson, the man Capitol Hill’s central park is named for, would have turned 70 today.
Anderson died of AIDS-related complications at the age of 47 in 1995. Anderson lives on in Washington history as the state’s first openly gay legislator:
Anderson was a Democratic activist and an aide to Seattle City Council Member George Benson and to Mayor Charles Royer. He was a decorated combat veteran of the U.S. Army in Vietnam and called himself, “a Democrat who happens to be gay” (The Seattle Times). In the legislature Anderson backed gay rights legislation and battled initiatives that would discriminate against gays. He also worked for campaign finance reform, easier voter registration, and open access to government documents.
This year, the search has begun for artists to complete a Seattle Memorial Pathway to honor the fight against HIV/AIDS and connect the park with a new plaza to be constructed above Capitol Hill Station.
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