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Published on May 11, 2018

Association of Washington Cities announces 2018 City Champion Award winners

Contact: Emma Shepard

OLYMPIA, WA – The Association of Washington Cities (AWC), an Olympia-based organization advocating on behalf of Washington’s 281 cities and towns, announced the recipients of its fifth annual City Champion Award. The award acknowledges the hard work and dedication of legislators and partners who championed critical city issues during the 2018 legislative session.

“We are delighted with the work this year’s City Champions did on behalf of Washington’s 281 cities and towns,” said Pat Johnson, President of AWC and Mayor of Buckley.

Sixteen legislators and four partnering organizations won the award this year.

Cities recognize legislators and partners for efforts to support city issues that included securing water for growing municipal populations, providing tools to address homelessness, preserving the Public Works Trust Fund, and advancing city interests.

“Ensuring strong communities throughout the state is not simply a local issue,” said Peter B. King, AWC Chief Executive Officer. “It is critical that our friends in the Legislature work alongside city mayors and councilmembers to provide tools to enhance local economic vitality, help individuals with mental health and drug addiction issues, and maintain local control.”

AWC’s City Champion Awards will be presented to recipients throughout the spring and summer. This year’s recipients are listed below.

Securing water for future growth

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien), Rep. David Taylor (R-Moxee), Sen. Judy Warnick (R-Moses Lake), and Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim) are recognized for their leadership in the Hirst and Foster “fix” legislation, work to find common ground, and recognition that cities must secure sufficient water to accommodate future growth.

Providing tools to address homelessness

Rep. Nicole Macri (D-Seattle), Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), and Sen. Jeannie Darneille (D-Tacoma) are recognized for their outstanding work to give local governments tools to address homelessness in our communities.

Preserving the Public Works Trust Fund

Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Sequim), Rep. Richard DeBolt (R-Chehalis), Rep. Beth Doglio (D-Olympia), Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-Shoreline), and Rep. Vicki Kraft (R-Vancouver) are recognized for leading a legislative workgroup to reform the Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF). This centerpiece infrastructure investment program was at risk of being eliminated. Now it is preserved to provide future benefits to cities and their residents.

Advocating for local control

Rep. Vandana Slatter (D-Bellevue) and Rep. Mike Steele (R-Chelan) are recognized for their leadership in advocating for local control and responsible use of the public right-of-way when siting and regulating telecommunications facilities. Their diligent work protected city local control and ensured that cities were at the forefront of policy discussions.

Sustaining strong cities

Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) is recognized for her career of service in support of sustaining strong cities through targeted transportation investments and local decision-making.

Advancing and protecting city interests

Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island) is recognized for her effective and steadfast advocacy efforts year after year to advance and protect city interests. This is her third City Champion Award.

Finding common ground

The Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC), the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), Washington Realtors, and Washington Farm Bureau are recognized for their partnership to help pass the Hirst and Foster “fix” legislation and for their efforts to ensure that city challenges were considered during the process.

Advancing housing and homeless service programs

The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is recognized for their outstanding leadership to advance housing and homeless service programs to help increase resources that address the challenging situations Washington’s cities face.

The Association of Washington Cities serves its members through advocacy, education and services. Founded in 1933, AWC is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation that represents Washington's cities and towns before the state legislature, the state executive branch, and with regulatory agencies. Membership is voluntary. However, AWC consistently maintains 100 percent participation from Washington’s 281 cities and towns. AWC also provides training, data and publications, and programs such as the AWC Employee Benefit Trust, AWC Risk Management Service Agency, AWC Workers’ Comp Retro, AWC Drug and Alcohol Consortium, and AWC GIS Consortium.

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