During the 2019 Education Fund Benefit Luncheon, two League of Women Voters of Thurston County Citizenship Awards were presented.
CIELO, Centro Integral Educativo Latino de Olympia, has worked since 1996 to create and strengthen relationships between immigrants and their allies. It strives to welcome the expression and celebration of diverse cultures and traditions and building a strong multi-generational community with respect and dignity. It provides opportunities for people to acquire skills and resources that empower them to realize their full potential.
Director, Charo Portaro, is joined by board members and staff as she shows the CIELO award.
Cascadia Research Collective, based in Olympia, has conducted scientific research and educational presentations to a variety of audiences since its incorporation in 1979. Cascadia Research receives grants and contracts, primarily from government agencies, to pursue research in a variety of areas; mostly in the fields of marine mammal and bird biology, animal behavior, ecology, and pollution ecology. The company puts a premium on publication of research results in scientific literature; conducting and reporting results with emphasis on high quality as well as timely completion.
Staff member, Alie Perez, and Board member, Greg Falxa, were pleased to accept the award on behalf of John Calambokidis, founder of Cascadia Research Collective.
On Saturday, June 8, during the 2019 Convention of the League of Women Voters of Washington, the coveted Local League Awards were presented.
LWV-TC Coffee with the League was acknowledged with the LWVWA 2019 Effective Member Engagement and Recruitment Award.
Thurston League delegates, Mary Moore, Sandra Herndon, Sue Lean, Karen Verrill, Sue Bredensteiner, Carol Goss, Julie Frick, and Karen Fraser, congratulate Paula Holroyde, the driving force behind Coffee with the League, as she accepts the award.
The following nomination statement was read during the presentation.
“Born of a desire to protect and expand public policy issues supported by the League of Women Voters, Coffee with the League, sponsored by the Thurston County LWV, has been in operation for over two years. Every Tuesday morning, a dedicated group of LWV members and friends of the LWV (an average of 15-20 each meeting and a total of at least 100 different participants over the two years) gather to discuss current local, state, and national issues. Participants then write postcards to appropriate legislators.
“During the Washington State Legislative Session, bills being considered by the House or Senate are followed. The state LWV position is considered, and information from the Washington League of Women Voters Legislative Newsletter is presented. Lobby Team members, who often attend, and various community activists give updates and reasons why bills should be supported or opposed. After what are sometimes spirited discussions, participants contact their legislators by writing postcards, voicing their personal opinions of support or opposition. Pre-stamped postcards are supplied and paid for by donations from the group’s attendees. An average of 40-60 postcards are mailed each week.
“These meetings have encouraged members to be informed and engaged. They also provide a sense of community. Those of us who regularly attend these meetings feel a sense of commitment and involvement in issues affecting our daily lives. We feel engaged and needed. It is important to us to make our concerns known to our representatives at the local and state level as well as the national level. Often, we receive personal responses from our representatives. Some representatives have used our postcards in presentations to the community, and one used a postcard in a video to constituents.
“Empowered voters: The actual writing of an individual postcard, even though perhaps an antiquated means of communication, focuses one’s attention and thoughts about a single issue. It helps us, as concerned citizens and LWV members, understand complex issues. We can, through the interaction of other participants of Coffee with the League, clarify our own thoughts and feelings. This can lead to developing empathy and acceptance of opposing opinions and perspectives on critical issues and puts each participant in a more powerful position when sharing beliefs.
“Educated or informed voters: In addition to giving a means of making participants’ feelings known about political matters, Coffee with the League educates participants about current issues. At a recent Tuesday meeting, April 23 to be precise, nineteen people were in attendance, including two new LWV members and several visitors. As the meeting proceeded, issues that were highlighted included a proposed Thurston County Emergency Housing Ordinance Revision. Members were encouraged to attend the hearing on this issue and/or email comments to the Thurston County Board of Commissioners. Another topic was the proposed defunding of renewable energy federal research at six national laboratories, including Ames Laboratory (100% reduction) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (74% reduction). These cuts would terminate potentially thousands of jobs in the research and energy sectors as well as jeopardize the United States as a global leader in energy innovations.
“Build connections with other groups or individuals: In addition to those previously mentioned, several other community organizations have been represented at Coffee with the League. Just some of these include environmental protection groups such as Sierra Club and Grand Old Broads. Missing Middle Housing and homeless advocates have made presentations. Immigrant issues are often addressed, and CIELO representatives have spoken. Gun violence concerns are frequently discussed, including support of youth organizations such as the Parkland students’ Never Again movement. Mason County
Julie Frick and Paula Holroyde show off the Award.
During the 2018 Education Fund Benefit Luncheon, a League of Women Voters of Thurston County Citizen Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Allyson Brooks, the Washington State Director of Antiquities and Historic Preservation.
Allyson has a significant impact statewide through her professional work that focuses on preserving physical reminders of our past. From lumber mills to schools, sacred landscapes to archaeological sites, rustic cabins to office towers, our historic and cultural resources provide everyone with a tangible link to persons and events that have shaped our communities and ourselves. Her work helps our state maintain an environment that instills civic pride and community spirit.
The Thurston League has benefited directly from Allyson's involvement in the local community. She served both as President and Vice-President/Program Chair. She continues to be a vital source of connections and information as we plan meetings of interest to members and the broader community.
In her spare time, you'll find Allyson doing Crossfit, running with her dogs, weightlifting, photographing sunrises, and even doing some martial arts when she gets the chance
Senator Karen Fraser received our Lifetime Citizenship Award during the LWVTC Luncheon on October 29th. This coming January, Senator Fraser celebrates 50 years of public service, having served as State Senator (6 terms), State Representative (2 terms), Lacey Mayor and City Council Member (first woman for each), Thurston County Commissioner (second woman), Legislative Liaison for three state agencies, citizen lobbyist, nonprofit organization advocate, and Adjunct Faculty at The Evergreen State College.
Senator Fraser has provided effective leadership on a wide range of important issues---women, labor, environment, community development, consumer protection, cultural affairs, and state level international relations. As a long-term LWVTC member, she has consistently promoted core League values, particularly making democracy work for citizens, civility in government, and promoting the informed and active participation of citizens.Read more
Cherie was raised in a family that was always active in public affairs. She and her husband, Don moved to Olympia in 1969. Her volunteer work helped shape our community and the state.Read more