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About Me

Gary B. Larson

Creative, compassionate communicator. Retired.
Port Townsend, Washington

Photo of Gary LarsonI was a professional communicator for 40 years. My mission was to help people learn about, understand, influence and use their public services. I have dedicated much of my life to that mission through my work, writing, hobbies, political involvement and continuing education.

After retiring from full-time employment, I offered my services as a freelance writer and editor to progressive, socially responsible firms, agencies, individuals, and nonprofit and political organizations. I was especially interested in supporting good causes that advocate for the environment, the arts, health, education, civil rights and responsibilities, and human services.

My interest in writing and current events began and grew while I was a journalism student in high school and college, where I learned and practiced my skills on student newspapers, including editor in chief of my college newspaper. I also worked as an occasional writer for my weekly hometown newspaper while attending school. Journalism was one of my college majors. In graduate school, I studied communications.

My interest in government and politics also began and grew as a student in junior high school, high school and college--and outside school. In school, I was elected to various leadership positions, including executive vice president of my college student government. I also took part in rallies against the Vietnam War and for the environment and civil rights. Political science was my other college major.

I believe strongly in our right and our responsibility to understand our government and affect the selection, decisions, policies and programs of government officials who work for us. Our responsibility does not end at the voting booth. Likewise, I support the efforts of people to protect, strengthen and use our First Amendment freedoms of belief, expression and political action. Those rights are essential not just to influence our government but also to influence private companies and nonprofit organizations that provide services and products for us.

After graduating from college in 1972, my career included writing for weekly and daily newspapers about city and county government as well as education and other topics of interest to newspaper readers. After leaving journalism, I continued to write about local government but from within government--30 1/2 years in February 2011 with public transportation and water pollution control agencies serving the Seattle/King County region. I had found as a reporter that I could not tell people about their government and schools in the depth and detail that they need to be fully informed. Unfortunately, the traditional news media have become less effective in helping to maintain and develop public understanding, interest and involvement in government. My work also included publication design and production, editing, media relations, website development, photography, event planning, and marketing.

My political involvement has continued, especially since I left the news biz and its facade of objectivity. I support liberal and progressive candidates, campaigns and causes: peace and disarmament, environmental protection, public education, public transportation, economic opportunity, and civil, equal and human rights. I’ve volunteered for Democratic Party positions, campaigns and candidates. I’ve used my writing, design, Web and leadership skills and my knowledge of the news media to aid social action committees and groups in Washington state, such as the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sierra Club, and Jefferson County Democratic Party.

And my love affair with good writing got stronger as my work and continuing study have improved my skills, abilities and knowledge. I worked to help college students learn how to write clear, concise news stories and business communications, and I worked to help colleagues improve their writing. I support the Plain Language Association InterNational in advocating for clear writing in business, government, legal, scientific, technical and academic writing. I also was chapter vice president and president of the International Association of Business Communicators in Seattle and supported communications and marketing needs as a volunteer for the Friends of Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend.

My website, Garbl’s Writing Center, reflects my commitment to my growth, to clear, concise, and useful writing and to helping others improve their writing. I believe the internet, used responsibly, has the power and potential to enhance our communication and citizen action.

Thank you for your interest.
Gary B. Larson

P.S. Besides writing, politics and current events, I love being a dad, listening to music (and sometimes making it on my fiddle, ukulele, guitar, mandolin, and keyboard), reading, going to movies and plays, volunteering, working in my yard, traveling, and taking pictures.

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Updated March 31, 2024.