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NO. R-178. JOINT RESOLUTION IN MEMORY OF DAVID W. CURTIS.

(J.R.H. 138)

Offered by: Representatives Dunne of Hartland, Lippert of Hinesburg, Obuchowski of Rockingham and Tracy of Burlington.

Whereas, David Curtis was a unique individual whose philosophical and political outlook underwent a dramatic metamorphosis over the course of his sadly shortened but extremely fruitful life, and

Whereas, his youth was spent in Montpelier to which he would later return as a legislator and defender general whose commitment to defending his clients before the state's judiciary was never in doubt, and

Whereas, upon graduating from the University of Vermont, where David Curtis had led the charge for the Goldwater presidential candidacy, and Boston College Law School, he embarked on an extraordinary professional and personal journey, and

Whereas, he initially practiced corporate law in Burlington, and, during the 1975-1976 biennium, represented the citizens of Charlotte in the House of Representatives as a proud member of the Republican Caucus, and

Whereas, his decision to become a defender of those who were most in need of the legal profession's protection was foreshadowed by his work as the attorney who succeeded in having the state's anti-abortion law declared unconstitutional, and

Whereas, after becoming politically active in the Democratic Party and after completing his tenure as deputy defender general, David Curtis moved to Tennessee where he assumed the mantle of the truly downtrodden as a Legal Aid attorney and became an active member of that state's gay community, and

Whereas, after working as an attorney on behalf of the Lakota Indians in South Dakota, he returned to his native Vermont where in 1985, Democratic Governor Madeleine Kunin appointed this former Goldwater Republican as Vermont's defender general, and

Whereas, subsequently after protecting the indigent with resources provided by the state for public criminal defenses, he resumed his legal partnership with former Governor Phil Hoff, and took on leadership with the Vermont Democratic Party, ultimately assuming the role of state chair, and

Whereas, during his final years, despite his own personal health problems, David Curtis became an eloquent spokesperson and advocate for those living with the HIV virus and AIDS, and

Whereas, upon David Curtis's death, his memorial service was in reality a warm and joyous celebration of his life, attended by the hundreds who gathered with his three children, David Curtis Jr., Julia and Christopher, at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Burlington, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly extends its sincere sympathy to the children of David W. Curtis, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to each of his three children, David W. Curtis Jr., Julia Curtis and Christopher Curtis.