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Reuven Carlyle

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Reuven Carlyle
Member of the Washington Senate
from the 36th district
In office
January 7, 2016 (2016-01-07) – January 9, 2023 (2023-01-09)
Preceded byJeanne Kohl-Welles
Succeeded byNoel Frame
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 36th district
In office
January 12, 2009 (2009-01-12) – January 7, 2016 (2016-01-07)
Preceded byHelen Sommers
Succeeded byNoel Frame
Personal details
Reuven Michael Carlyle

(1965-08-10) August 10, 1965 (age 58)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseWendy Carlyle
Residence(s)Seattle, Washington
Alma materUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst (BA)
Harvard University (MPA)
ProfessionSustainability consultant

Reuven Michael Carlyle[1] (born August 10, 1965) is a founder of Earth Finance, a global climate strategy and investment firm. He is also an American politician who served as a Democratic member of the Washington legislature[2] representing the Washington's 36th legislative district in the state house between 2009 and 2016 and in the state senate between 2016 and 2023.[3]

Carlyle founded Earth Finance following his service in the state Senate.

Prior to Earth Finance, he has served in business development, public policy, sales, marketing, corporate development, board of director and/or strategic consulting roles with a number of early- and mid-stage technology companies including McCaw Cellular Communications (Acquired by AT&T Wireless Services), Xypoint Corp. (Acquired by TCS, Inc.), Twisted Pair Solutions (Acquired by Motorola) and others.

Carlyle also serves on the board of Toptana Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Quinalt Indian Nation.

Under Carlyle's leadership and partnership with Gov. Jay Inslee, Washington state has been recognized as one of the only states in the nation with binding, enforceable commitments to the Paris Agreement and a policy framework to reach the targets.


Carlyle, 2016

Carlyle served as chair of the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee, as well as a member of the Ways & Means and Rules Committee. Carlyle was re-elected in 2018 for a four-year term with 89.3% of the vote against Libertarian Bryan Simonson.

Carlyle announced that he is not seeking re-election in 2022. The Seattle Times lauded Carlyle's public service.[1]

During Carlyle's years as committee chair, the Legislature has adopted among the most sweeping carbon legislation in the U.S. This includes: Climate Commitment Act (the second cap and invest carbon pricing legislation in anticipation of joining the Western Climate Initiative); Clean Fuel Standard; HEAL Act (environmental justice and equity), transportation package widely considered the greenest package in state history; commercial building standards; building efficiency standards, HFCs and more. Under the legislation, Washington is one of the few governments in the world with, in effect, binding and enforceable commitments to Paris Accord and the policy framework to achieve the reductions.

In 2019, Carlyle successfully prime sponsored comprehensive clean energy legislation, SB 5116, to require all electric utilities in Washington to transition to a 100-percent, carbon-neutral electricity supply by 2030 and to 100-percent carbon-free electricity by 2045. The bill was a cornerstone of Gov. Jay Inslee's climate agenda.

In 2018, he was one of only seven senators to vote against the Legislature's public records bill that was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Jay Inslee following a public outcry by the state's media and the public.[4]

Carlyle's legislative priorities have been centered around budget policy and tax transparency, foster youth, higher education, energy and environmental priorities. In 2007, prior to his election, Carlyle authored the Passport to College Promise Program which was ultimately created by the Legislature.[5]

Carlyle was first elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 2008,[6] representing the 36th legislative district as a Democrat. He was appointed[7] to the state Senate in 2016 to succeed veteran Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles who was elected in 2015 to the King County Council.

During Carlyle's seven years in the House he focused on a range of policy areas including budget, tax,[8] higher education, transportation, health care, open data and election issues. He sponsored major legislation to reform higher education finance and improve the educational success of foster youth. Carlyle has been the prime sponsor of legislation[9] in each year to abolish the death penalty[10] and replace the policy with life in prison without the possibility of parole. Carlyle has been a critic[11] of efforts to expand[12] coal and oil trains and exports throughout the Pacific Northwest. He has been a vocal[13] legal[14] and political opponent[15] of initiative promoter Tim Eyman's efforts to alter the state constitution to require a supermajority to raise taxes.

In 2013 Carlyle was appointed chair of the House Finance Committee[16] and as a budget writer. During his three years as Finance chair, Carlyle sponsored legislation to provide transparency into Washington's tax structure.[17] He also passed major legislation to reinstate Washington's estate tax[18] as well reform the state's telecommunications taxation. In the Finance role, he was a prime sponsor[19] and a supporter of the accountability[20] and transparency provisions[21][22] of the Boeing tax package,[23] widely considered the largest state tax incentive package in U.S. history.[24] Carlyle was publicly critical[25] of the abbreviated process of the special session.

Carlyle was named in 2012 as "one of 12 legislators in the nation to watch" by Governing Magazine.[26] He was named one of the most "tech savvy" legislators in the nation by GovTech.[27] He was named by the progressive organization Fuse as a champion of tax reform.[28] In 2016 he was awarded the Ballard/Thompson Award by the Washington State Coalition for Open Government,[29] the state's premier organization for open government and public access to government information. In 2017, he received legislator of the year award from Washington Conservation Voters.[30]

Carlyle announced he would not seek reelection on January 24, 2022.[31]


Carlyle addressing a rally organized in response to Executive Order 13769, 2017

Carlyle resides in Seattle with his wife Dr. Wendy Carlyle an anesthesiologist practicing at Swedish Medical Center in Ballard. They have four school-age children: Adi, Liat, Zev and Nava. Carlyle grew up in Bellingham, Washington and developed his interest in government while serving as a teenage page in Congress. He served as a page for two years in the U.S. Senate for Senators Warren Magnuson[32] and Henry "Scoop" Jackson, and one year in the House of Representatives where he served briefly as personal page to Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr. Carlyle's mother, Joan Hadiyah Carlyle,[33] self-published her autobiography "A Torch in the Dark, one woman's journey."

Prior to his election, Carlyle was appointed by Governor Chris Gregoire in 2004 as a member of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.[34] He crafted legislation in 2007 as a citizen activist for foster youth, Passport to College Promise,[35] a scholarship program. Carlyle was a citizen co-founder of the Seattle/King County Chapter of City Year, a national AmeriCorps program.


Carlyle received a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


  1. ^ "Student enjoys life as Capitol page". The Bellingham Herald. 1983-02-04.
  2. ^ "Sen. Reuven Carlyle – Washington State Senate Democrats". sdc.wastateleg.org. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  3. ^ Stiffler, Lisa (February 12, 2023). "Former senator Reuven Carlyle launches climate consulting and finance venture backed by $14M". Geekwire.
  4. ^ "How your Washington state legislator voted on the bill to shield many lawmaker records". The Seattle Times. 2018-02-23. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  5. ^ "Passport to Careers | WSAC". www.wsac.wa.gov. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  6. ^ "Results - King County Elections". King County Elections, Department of Executive Services. 2008-11-25. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
  7. ^ "Carlyle appointed, sworn in as 36th District senator - City Living Seattle". citylivingseattle.com. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  8. ^ "Capital-gains tax in, Inslee's carbon tax out in Dems' budget plan". The Seattle Times. 2015-03-27. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  9. ^ "Magnolia VoiceRep. Reuven Carlyle weighs in on state's 2-year coal train environmental study | Magnolia Voice". Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  10. ^ "Bill to abolish death penalty gets hearing". The Seattle Times. 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  11. ^ "Queen Anne & Magnolia News: Reuven Carlyle on the coal trains". queenannenews.com. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  12. ^ "'Green' strategists hired by coal companies to push train proposals". The Seattle Times. 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  13. ^ "Eyman's Initiative 1053 undermines the principle of majority rule". The Seattle Times. 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  14. ^ "Tim Eyman's anti-tax measure unconstitutional, judge rules". The Seattle Times. 2016-01-21. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  15. ^ "Rep. Carlyle Gets All 1787 on Tim Eyman". www.seattlemet.com. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  16. ^ "Call Him Reuven-ue Carlyle – Rising Lawmaker to Chair Newly Revived Finance Committee - Washington State Wire". Washington State Wire. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  17. ^ "State gave Boeing a free pass on $19.5M in sales tax". The Seattle Times. 2015-11-29. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  18. ^ "The Politics Blog". Tacoma News Tribune. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  19. ^ "'Opening the books' on Boeing tax breaks: Millions last year | The Herald Business Journal". The Herald Business Journal. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  20. ^ "State is right to shed light on Boeing's tax breaks". theolympian. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  21. ^ "Boeing must disclose tax-break savings, state Department of Revenue rules". The Seattle Times. 2016-01-07. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  22. ^ Jenkins, Austin. "State Secret: Why You Can't See Boeing's Tax Bill". nwnewsnetwork.org. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  23. ^ Garofalo, Pat (2013-11-13). "Boeing's Corporate Tax Blackmail". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  24. ^ "Boeing: Biggest state subsidy in U.S. history". Strange Bedfellows -- Politics News. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  25. ^ "State lawmaker: Boeing tax-break process 'seriously flawed'". Q13 FOX News. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  26. ^ "12 State Legislators to Watch in 2012".
  27. ^ "Meet the Tech-Savviest Legislators in the U.S. (Interactive Map)". www.govtech.com. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  28. ^ "Fuse Washington: Sizzle Archives". fusewashington.org. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  29. ^ "State Rep. Reuven Carlyle honored with Ballard/Thompson Award". Washington Coalition for Open Government. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  30. ^ Washington Conservation Voters, Sen. Reuven Carlyle | 2017 WCV Breakfast, retrieved 2018-12-17
  31. ^ "Sen. Reuven Carlyle won't seek re-election". Washington Senate Democrats. 2022-01-24. Retrieved 2022-01-25.
  32. ^ "HistoryLink.org- the Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History". www.historylink.org. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  33. ^ "Hadiyah Carlyle, Writer". Hadiyah Carlyle, Writer. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  34. ^ Governor, Office of the. "Office of the Governor". www.digitalarchives.wa.gov. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  35. ^ "Washington State's Passport Keeps Foster Youth In College - The Chronicle of Social Change". The Chronicle of Social Change. Retrieved 2016-02-06.

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