Children's Campaign Fund Presents the
3rd Annual Champions for Children, Youth, and Families Awards
Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 1PM
During our 3rd Annual Champions for Children, Youth, and Families Awards, the Children's Campaign Fund celebrated key policy wins and legislators who went above and beyond in their commitments to kids during session. Thank you to all who came to support this event!
THANK YOU TO OUR EVENT SPONSORS:
Susan A. Weiss
Chuck and Nancy Bagley
Jack and Gayle Thompson
Stand for Children
Peter & Yali Lincroft
Mary Anne Liebert
Dream Investment Strategies
The Honorable Ruth Kagi
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2023 AWARD WINNERS
Winners were elected by CCF's Board of Directors; nominations were based on floor and committee votes, prime and co-sponsorship of CCF's priority bills, proviso and budget leadership, session activity including floor speeches and public comments, and more.
Senate Champion of the Year
Senator Rebecca Saldaña (LD-37)
Co-Chair of the Senate Members of Color Caucus where she has championed tremendous investment and policy change to keep families and children together by expanding the child welfare housing assistance program to keep kids permanently housed. Senator Saldaña stands out as an incredible advocate and champion for all issues impacting children, youth, and families.
Senator Saldaña prime sponsored expansive youth substance prevention bills this session including SB 5356 (preventing the use of tobacco and vapor products by minors) and SB 5256 (expanding the child welfare housing assistance program) — and championed key budget requests for establishing 23-hour crisis relief centers in our state, as well as co-sponsored vital funding for enhanced behavior support homes for foster youth and reforming sentencing based on prior juvenile offenses. Prior years, Senator Saldaña was also recognized by Disability Rights Washington's Public Policy Award, representing a track record of proven policy work, innovative leadership, and impact throughout the state.
House Champion of the Year
Rep. Marcus Riccelli (LD-3)
Chair of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee where he has championed expanding health access, dental care, and free school meals to provide quality care and nutrition to children. Rep. Riccelli stands out as an incredible powerhouse for kid's health in our state and has ensured student wellbeing across all school communities.
Rep. Riccelli prime sponsored the biggest advances in children's access to health care including HB 1466 (concerning currently credentialed dental auxiliaries) and HB 1678 (establishing and authorizing the profession of dental therapy) to increase access to dental care for Washington kids and families while raising dental visits from 60,000 to 150,000 people annually — and championed key budget requests to establish regional apprenticeship programs to provide more unique career opportunities among rural school districts, as well as co-sponsored other vital funding for the 988 system statewide crisis line and strengthening health care oversight and drug affordability through multiple passed bills. Prior years, Rep. Riccelli was also recognized as a 2022 Children's Alliance Champion for Children and 2020 Food Lifeline Legislative Champion Award.
Rising Stars of the Year
Rep. Emily Alvarado (LD-34)
Rep. Alvarado is truly a star in the legislature - shining bright for children, youth, and families as a powerful leader during hearings and long-time leader emphasizing housing access. During her first term, Rep. Alvarado prime sponsored many important bills including HB 1694 (addressing home care workforce shortages) and HB 1260 (accelerating stability for people with a work-limiting disability or incapacity) and co-sponsored over two dozen priority bills across our issue areas. She was an especially powerful voice in the 2023 session around ensuring Washington's kids and families have their basic needs met, and that funding for special education increased.
Rep. Julio Cortes (LD-38)
As the new Vice Chair of the Human Services, Youth, & Early Learning Committee this year, Rep. Cortes championed this session’s most transformative bills impacting children, youth, and families. He prime sponsored bills like HB 1406 (expansions concerning youth seeking housing assistance and other related services) to increase shelter for youth to 90 days if parents cannot be contacted while promoting family reconciliation and increased funding to youth service providers. Continuing the advocacy for youth, Rep. Cortes co-sponsored multiple bills to eliminate student homelessness (HB 1622), to provide accessory dwelling units (HB 1337), and more that challenge the status quo of homelessness and reimagine a better, more accessible Washington for all children, youth, and families.