By Meredith Floyd
Rain threatened to fall on a dreary day in Olympia as I sat across from Representative Mike Hope in his office to begin our interview. It was a busy day for him with bills to vote on and promote, yet he sat there as if he had all the time in the world and nothing to do but talk to me.
As the winner of the University of Washington Bothell's Distinguished Alumni Award, Mike Hope was definitely a busy man. When I opened the interview by asking his response to winning the award he chuckled slightly and said with a smile, "I was thrilled and kind of surprised; it shocked me really. It is an honor to win such a prestigious award when I know that there are so many other people equally deserving." Upon discovering that he is the first University of Washington Bothell alumni to ever hold public office, Representative Hope humbly said that it has been through his education that he has been able to accomplish so much and achieve his goals.
After ten years as a member of the Seattle Police Department, Representative Hope decided to go back to school and earn his master's degree in Policy Studies from the University of Washington Bothell. He chose to attend the Bothell campus for its central location between home and work, which was a great convenience as a working student.
When asked about his experience he says, "Attending the University of Washington Bothell was one of the best choices I ever made. It helped to propel my career in ways that I couldn't have imagined." Through the improvement of his education, Representative Hope earned a promotion from officer to detective and, in the process, developed the idea to run for public office.
As a first year Representative of the 44th District, Mike hasn't forgotten why he is in office. "Being a policeman changes who you are. Crimes are not something that you watch on the news, they are very real and you see how a family is affected by the loss of a loved one. I wanted to make a difference for those people and the best way I saw I could do that was by serving in Olympia and helping to prevent problems before they start."
As a current student at the University of Washington Bothell, I have to say that I was incredibly impressed with Representative Hope. Long after my interview questions were done and my tape recorder off, he sat with me comparing teachers and future classes that I might want to take, acting as if there wasn't anything else he had to do that day.