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SUSTAINABILITY TRAILBLAZER AND HUNGER FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

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City of Seattle Seal

Recently I had the honor of receiving two awards from organizations that have long histories of thoughtful and careful work in their respective fields. In late March I was named as a “Sustainability Trailblazer” by the Seattle-based Sustainable Path Foundation. On April 5 I was given the “Hunger Fighter” award for 2013 by the Seattle Weekly, after being nominated by Food Lifeline, the organization dedicated to ending hunger in Washington that coordinates securing and providing food for Food Banks and other hunger relief agencies.

Receiving these two awards is both humbling and gratifying, as together they recognize my ability to put into action the values of community sustainability and social justice that are the core reasons why I chose to serve as a Councilmember.

The Sustainable Path Foundation recognized my accomplishments in making sustainability real, noting especially my work in creating the Zero Waste Strategy and the Local Food Initiative, and in shepherding 37 neighborhood plans through the Seattle City Council to create the framework for Seattle’s implementation of growth management.

Sustainability has been my passion since co-founding Sustainable Seattle more than 20 years ago, and it continues to be the guiding principle for my work on the Council. The Mission Statement of the Sustainable Path Foundation is to promote sustainability and health in our region through collaborative approaches informed by scientific understanding and systems thinking. The Sustainable Path Foundation envisions a sustainable future based on scientific understanding and respect for the interconnected nature of our world.

 Gretchen Garth, Paul Brainerd, Chris Jordan, Cathy Tuttle and Kathleen O’Brien have also been named as “Sustainability Trailblazers.”  More information about each of the honored recipients (and additional recipients who will continue to be named) can be found at the Seattle Path Foundation’s website. “Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council member, is our sixth Trailblazer,” read the Foundation’s announcement.  “Richard is being recognized for blazing a trail of sustainability through ensuring that the city values and practices environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, social justice, and community in its every day operations.  Thank you Richard Conlin!”

The “Hunger Fighter” award was presented at Seattle Weekly’s annual “Voracious Tasting” event, a showcase of various chefs, local eats and food trucks, and local wineries and beer makers. Proceeds from the event benefitted Food Lifeline.

Several awards were given at “Voracious Tasting”, including the Hunger Fighter Award. Food Lifeline nominated me for my “efforts to end hunger in our community and for the generous, additional $200k to the emergency food system last year” which I got the Council to approve as part of the 2013 budget. Working to end hunger in our community is a key part of my Local Food Action Initiative, and I have coordinated closely with agencies like Food Lifeline and United Way in campaigns to ensure that all members of our community have access to healthy and nutritious food.

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