Toby is an experienced and active leader in our community.
- Member of the Kirkland City Council since January, 2012.
- Chair of the Kirkland Tourism Development Committee.
- Represents Kirkland as an alternate on the King County Metropolitan Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee.
- Served on the King County Regional Law, Safety, and Justice Committee (2014-2017), the King County Emergency Medical Services Advisory Task Force (2018), the King County Emergency Management Advisory Committee (2019), and as representative (2013-2019) and alternate (2020-2021) for Kirkland on the Sound Cities Association Public Issues Committee.
- Received the Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities.
- Served as State Representative for the 45th District (2002-2007), including representing many citizens of Kirkland in Olympia.
- Served as Commissioner of King County Fire Protection District 41, which served the Kingsgate, North Juanita, and Finn Hill areas of Kirkland prior to annexation into the city (2009-2011).
- Served on the King County Charter Review Commission (2018-2020).
- Served on the Association of Washington Cities Legislative Priorities Committee (2019-2020).
- Chaired the Kirkland Ethics Task Force, appointed by the City Council to draft an ethics and conduct policy for members of the city council and city boards and commissions (2010-2011).
- Co-chaired Citizens for One Kirkland, supporting annexation of Kingsgate, North Juanita, and Finn Hill into Kirkland (2009).
- Chaired Citizens for Accountable Elections, sponsor of Initiative 25, which made the King County Director of Elections an elected non-partisan office (2007).
- Chair of the Board of Directors of Nourishing Networks Consortium.
- Vice President and member of the board of directors of Attain Housing.
- Secretary of the board of Kirkland Interfaith Network.
- Co-founder and member of the steering committee of Fostering Interfaith Relationships on the Eastside (FIRE).
- Member of the Steering Committee of Kirkland Nourishing Network, which provides food to needy families to help them through long school breaks when school breakfasts and lunches aren’t available for their children.
- Board member and former president of Kingsgate Highlands Division 3 and 4 Homeowners Association.
- Former board member and advisory council member of Youth Eastside Services (YES).
- Former member of the advisory council of Lake Washington Schools Foundation.
- Former board member of Evergreen Hill Neighborhood Association.
- Co-founder and member of Friends of 132nd Square Park.
- Graduate of Leadership Eastside, class of 2013.
- President Emeritus of Washington Coalition for Open Government, a statewide non-profit non-partisan organization that protects the people’s right to know what their government is doing by educating citizens and public officials regarding access to public records and meetings and defending access in the courts and the legislature (served as president 2007-2021, and on board of directors 2005-2021).
- Received the first annual “Toby Nixon Award” (formerly the James Madison Award) in 2022 from Washington Coalition for Open Government; the award is presented annually to an individual or organization whose long-term commitment to the cause of open government is demonstrated through exemplary words or deeds.
- Received the “Heroes of the Fifty States Award” and inducted into the “State Open Government Hall of Fame” by the National Freedom of Information Coalition and Society of Professional Journalists.
- Member of the Washington State Historical Records Advisory Board.
- Member of the Open Government Task Force appointed by Attorney General Rob McKenna and State Auditor Brian Sonntag to recommend improvements to Washington’s open public records and meetings laws (2009-2010).
- Member of the task force appointed by the Chief Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court to recommend improvements to access to court records.
- Member of the task force appointed by the Washington State Archivist to oversee the study of creation of a statewide public records portal.
- Former Vice President of Responsible Choices of Washington, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that worked to provide more useful information to voters about statewide initiatives and ballot measures.
- Member of the Board of Directors of Heart of America Northwest, one of the leading organizations advocating for cleanup of the Hanford nuclear site, and received its “Hanford Clean-up Hero” award.
- Received the “Freedom’s Light Award” from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for support of First Amendment rights in Washington.
- Received the “Government Partner of the Year” Award from Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce.
- Received an “Award of Appreciation” from King County Parent Coalition for Developmental Disabilities.
- Received the “Guardian of Small Business” Award from the National Federation of Independent Business.
- Active church member having served in a variety of leadership positions, currently serving as music coordinator and Sunday School teacher for 5-6 year-old children.
During his time as state representative, Toby served as Ranking Member of the House Committee on State Government Operations and Accountability, where he sponsored bi-partisan reforms to our election laws following the contentious 2004 election. He also served on the Transportation committee, the Technology, Energy and Communications committee, the Finance committee, the Children and Family Services committee, the Joint Legislative Systems Committee (overseeing all the computer and networks systems of the legislature), and the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee (ensuring that executive branch rules do not exceed legislative authority). He served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Council on Identity Theft, on the Joint Select Committee on the Homeowner Association Act, and on King County’s Community Advisory Board on Disabled Accessible Voting Equipment. His broad experience and contacts in state government enable him to be a persuasive advocate for Kirkland.
Toby is a technology expert and recognized leader in the computer industry, and applies his skills to serving the people of Kirkland.
- Former Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, developing technology standards policy, representing Microsoft in national and international organizations, and promoting Microsoft technology initiatives to industry partners.
- Represented Microsoft on the Board of Directors of Bluetooth Special Interest Group, the Kirkland-based international organization that develops standards for Bluetooth technology, including serving as chair of the board of directors 2015-2023.
- Represented Microsoft on the Board of Directors of USB Implementers Forum.
- Represented Microsoft on the Board of Directors of Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Forum.
- Represented Microsoft on the steering committee of VirtualLink Consortium.
- Represented Microsoft as an alternate member of the Board of Directors of Open Connectivity Foundation.
- Represented Microsoft on the Board of Directors of UPnP Forum, including serving several years as chair of the board, and also on the Board of Directors of Allseen Alliance; both are now part of Open Connectivity Foundation.
- Chaired the Web Services Discovery and Devices Profile Technical Committee of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards.
- Represented Microsoft on the Board of Directors of the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium, which awarded him the IMTC President’s Award.
- Founding member of the Board of Directors of Voice on the Net Coalition, one of the pioneering organizations that advanced technology to carry telephone calls on the Internet.
- Chaired several committees within such organizations as the Telecommunications Industry Association and the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations agency that sets standards for voice and data communication.
- Holds several patents in the area of computer communications.
- Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Toby’s career has focused on building consensus on standards and policy issues to enable the diverse and competitive companies in the computer industry to move forward together and effectively serve the needs of their customers. He applies this experience in all of his activities to bring together people having disparate views to work toward common goals.
Toby’s life experiences make him sensitive to the needs of all people in our community, and have prepared him for public service.
Toby came from humble beginnings. His father, son of an airplane factory worker, served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and was an inspector for Rocketdyne (which produced rocket engines for the U.S. space program) until he was injured in a work accident. Toby’s parents separated and eventually divorced. After disability compensation ran out and still unable to work, Toby’s father raised his three sons on public assistance such as welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, rental housing assistance, free school lunch programs, and government surplus food, while struggling through a string of failed attempts to start small businesses he could do while living with his disability. But throughout these struggles, Toby’s father set an example for his sons of dedicated volunteer community service and caring for other family members who had more severe disabilities.
Toby was introduced to computers early in high school, and excelled. He got his first computer job at the age of 16 through CETA (the federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act program) working for the Shasta County government in California as a computer operator and programmer. He received a full scholarship to attend California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he was the first freshman to win the prestigious Association of Computing Machinery’s computer programming award and worked as a tutor for juniors and seniors in programming courses, but he chose to leave college early to pursue his career. He quickly became an expert on the leading edge of computer communications, telephony, and device connectivity. Now, his over 48 years’ experience in a wide range of technologies and managing relationships between technology companies enables him to devote time to serving his country, state, community, and family — but he never forgets where he came from, and the help he received from so many people along the way.
Toby and his wife Irene have been married for over 40 years. They have five grown children, and reside in the Kingsgate neighborhood of Kirkland. His hobbies include singing in and directing church and community choirs, playing the piano, volunteering web site management for several local organizations, and serving on the boards of charitable organizations. He is passionate about expanding public access to government information, and teaching people how the government works and how to be more effective advocates for the issues important to them.