Roslyn Downtown Association |

William Craven Honored with a Proclamation from Governor Jay Inslee in 2021

The Roslyn Downtown Association honored William (Will) Craven as Washington’s first Black mayor on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. Cheri Marusa, RDA President, shared her enthusiasm, stating, “It was long overdue to bring statewide recognition to honor Will for his contributions to Roslyn and beyond. The Governor’s Proclamation captures the essence of Will’s commitment to service.”

The RDA invited a long list of dignitaries who drove in from Olympia and other parts of Washington and gathered with the community in front of Roslyn’s Historic NWIC Building to honor Will.

Governor Jay Inslee, who made a special trip with his wife Trudi to attend the unveiling, said, “Today we’re celebrating Will Craven. He’s a role model for many—from his time on the Roslyn city council to coaching hundreds of kids over the years. His kindness and leadership have made us all better people. Thank you, Will.”

Comments from Inslee and several other speakers concluded with the unveiling of a Tribute Stand adorned with Will’s photo, a bird roosting on a branch to symbolize the way Will loved to care for birds, and – Governor Inslee’s Feb. 20 proclamation declaring the day William Craven Day.

The proclamation highlights Craven’s lineage and public service record as a sexton, voluntary cemetery caretaker, school janitor, youth mentor and coach, city councilor, and mayor. It also includes a Craven quote from his term as mayor: “Some people will like me. Some people won’t. I didn’t run for this job as a black man but as a man. I wanted an equal chance to try. If I can’t do it, the people will vote me out in September.”

Coverage in the local newspaper. Click to enlarge.