Washington Community Action Network honored a Mountlake Terrace man and four other community leaders at its annual Social Justice Awards Breakfast.
Mountlake Terrace’s Joselito Lopez received an award for his work with health care reform. Here are the individuals honored:
- Josélito Lopez was dropped by his health insurance company while he was recovering from open heart surgery. The fight for health care reform was a calling to Lopez and he immediately lent his voice and energy to the movement for quality, affordable health care for all. He has shared his story in local and national media, and has been instrumental in bringing together Washington CAN!’s Statewide Leadership Council – a dedicated group of Washington CAN! members who have made a commitment to guide and drive the work of our organization.
- Chettie McAfee is a Seattle homeowner who struggled with inflated payments after losing her job in the economic crisis and is battling against foreclosure. She has shared her story with the Seattle City Council and helped to organize a bus tour of Seattle neighborhoods that have been hard hit by the foreclosure crisis. But Chettie’s commitment goes beyond the issues that hit home for her personally. She has been an advocate for higher education and stemming the tide of student debt, as well as standing with other community members as they’ve fought against unfair medical debt.
- Betsy Andrews is another honoree. Andrews was an active member in an anti-foreclosure protest Washington D.C., the first in more than a decade that resulted in arrests. She has appeared in news stories and gone door to door to talk with underwater homeowners and build a base of support. She has fought to keep her own home too. Betsy faced off with local politicians when she attended candidate forums and asked them directly about their priorities regarding foreclosure.
- From Spokane, Bonnie Roberts got her start as an activist in the 1960’s when she marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the civil rights movement. She is a grassroots advocate for retirement security, and is passionate about the need to protect and strengthen social security and pass legislation to establish a care-giver’s tax credit. She has battled cancer and won three times in her life; she is a fighter and a survivor. She has been called on to testify on many issues, and is always ready to lend her voice in the service of justice.
- Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream Shop was part of a coalition of small businesses led by the Main Street Alliance Washington. Together, small business leaders organized in support of the effort to pass Seattle’s $15 minimum wage, as well as ensuring small business owners had a place at the negotiating table. Moon worked tirelessly to serve as a negotiator and spokesperson for the $15 for Seattle campaign. At a citywide victory celebration, her ice cream truck rolled up curbside with 200 scoops of donated ice cream. Molly Moon Neitzel received the Main Street Hero award.
“These five leaders demonstrate what people can accomplish when they come together with others and take collective action,” said Washington CAN! Executive Director Will Pittz. “It was our honor to recognize each of them for their leadership.”
Honorees were recognized by other local leaders and each received a plaque for their dedication to social justice.