top of page

CCF's 1st Annual
Champions for Children, Youth, and Families Awards:
Saturday, May 15, 2021

On International Day of Families, our community came together to celebrate the many policy wins for children, youth, and families, and thank the leaders who made this historic legislative session possible! Did you miss the event? Want to revisit part of the powerful conversation? Watch the full event recording below or check out individual recognition videos for each of our 2021 champions.

Champion of the Year:
Rep. My-Linh Thai

Rising Star of the Year:
Sen. T'wina Nobles

Champions for Early Learning and Childcare:
Sen. Claire Wilson and Rep. Tana Senn
Champions for Basic Needs:
Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley

Champion for Child Welfare:
Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self

Champion for Juvenile Justice Reform:
Rep. Jesse Johnson


Rep. Ruth Kagi (Ret.)
Yali Lincroft
Rene Murry
Ann Ramsay-Jenkins
Charles & Nancy Bagley
Adam & Whitney Cornell
Rep. Mary Helen Roberts (Ret.)
Jack & Gayle Thompson
Susan A. Weiss


Champion of the Year
Rep. My-Linh Thai (LD-41)
In recognition of a transformative commitment to children, youth, and families across our priorities.

Rep. Thai championed powerful legislation across CCF's priority bills this session, with a primary focus on ensuring the basic needs of children, youth, and families are met through holistic investments in health, housing, and safety. Most outstanding was Rep. Thai's leadership and prime sponsorship of The Working Families Tax Credit -- garnering sweeping bipartisan support. This significant legislation will positively and quickly impact children and families across the state by providing a direct recovery rebate when most needed.

Rising Star of the Year
Sen. T'wina Nobles (LD-28)
In recognition of an impactful first term advocating for children, youth, and families.

Sen. Nobles has had a historic first year as a Senator. The first bill she passed as a senator was SB 5184 - a bill that establishes a building point of contact in all K-12 public schools for students in foster care. Having experienced foster care as a youth, Sen. Nobles has been a powerful advocate for young people in the child welfare system, and provided an impactful voice for Fair Start for Kids on what it means to have accessible and affordable childcare.

Champions for Early Learning & Childcare
Rep. Tana Senn (LD-41) & Sen. Claire Wilson (LD-30)

The Fair Start for Kids Act is a historic investment in the expansion of affordable, accessible, and quality early learning and childcare options across Washington state. Rep. Senn and Sen. Wilson worked collaboratively and tirelessly on companion bills during the interim and all session, ultimately taking this milestone legislation to the finish line with SB 5237.

As Chair of the Children, Youth & Families Committee in the House, Rep. Senn's leadership assured that many game-changing bills advanced this year. In addition to her focus on early learning and childcare -- including her dedication to progressive revenue that would fund these investments -- she also sponsored and co-sponsored multiple priority bills across CCF's issue areas.


In addition to prime sponsoring Fair Start for Kids, Sen. Wilson was the prime sponsor of every Senate early learning and childcare bill we prioritized and co-sponsored many of CCF's priority bills across our other key issues as well. We are grateful for the chance to celebrate both of these powerhouse leaders!

Champion for Basic Needs
Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley (LD-37)
Rep. Harris-Talley has made an enormous impact during her first year in the legislature. As Vice Chair of the Children, Youth & Families Committee, she advocated for many of CCF's key priorities -- including co-sponsoring nearly all of our housing, health, and safety bills this session. Rep. Harris-Talley rises to the top as a champion for holistic investments in the basic needs of families across our state.
Champion for Child Welfare 
Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self (LD-21)
In her role as an elementary school counselor, Rep. Ortiz-Self recognizes that children and youth are best served when they are cared for by their loved ones and their communities. Rep. Ortiz-Self prime sponsored HB 1227, known as the Keeping Families Together Act, as well as HB 1194 which aims to strengthen quality parent-child visitation while in the child welfare system. Both bills garnered strong bipartisan support. Rep. Ortiz-Self is an outstanding advocate for children, youth, and families impacted by the child welfare system.
Champion for Juvenile Justice Reform
Rep. Jesse Johnson (LD-30)
As Vice Chair of the Public Safety Committee, Rep. Johnson stands out as a champion for equity and accountability in law enforcement and criminal legal systems. He is the prime sponsor of one of CCF's priority juvenile justice reform bills this session, HB 1140. As passed, it protects the constitutional rights of young people and ensures they have access to an attorney when in contact with law enforcement.

Streamed live via Zoom on May 15, 2021

Thank you to ALL the champions who made this a historic session for children, youth, and families across Washington!

bottom of page