Hansville’s McCaffree authors book on leadership

HANSVILLE — Two longtime Kitsap residents have co-authored a book about a decade in which elected leaders “moved beyond partisanship and focused on problem-solving for the people.”

Hansville’s Mary Ellen McCaffree, co-founder and treasurer of the Great Peninsula Conservancy, and Anne McNamee Corbett, Kitsap Land Trust co-founder and founding editor of the Central Kitsap Reporter, have teamed to write “Politics of the Possible.”

The book retraces McCaffree’s path inside the gears of governing during Washington state’s “most productive and legendary decade.”

“Politics of the Possible” charts the “overhaul of Washington state during the 1960s, culminating in a 1970 special legislative session that capped a sweeping program of progressive, bi-partisan reforms.”

The story unfolds through the eyes of McCaffree, a mother of five who entered politics to champion her children’s overcrowded, underfunded schools. In her four terms as a state legislator from Seattle, she was central to the Evans-era leadership team, was an architect and author of a major program of tax reform, and championed nationally groundbreaking legislation in education and environmental protections.

The authors said they wrote the book out of concern that many people don’t understand the process of our governing bodies well enough to play a part in assuring government works for them.

“More than a history, it affirms what is possible here and now,” Bill Gates Sr. said. “Readers will tend to weigh what they see happening today against the important principles Mary Ellen McCaffree lays out so effectively in ‘Politics of the Possible.’ ”

McCaffree was active in establishing the Hansville Community Center, served on a local water district board, and was an early proponent of the Hansville Greenway. She and Corbett worked together on the boards of the Kitsap Land Trust and Great Peninsula Conservancy.


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