Offering daily news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Joni Earl, Paul Lawrence to be honored with Lynn Allen Awards at NPI’s 2017 Spring Gala

As progressives, we believe in championing political progress for all people — it’s why we call ourselves progressives.

We believe that our society’s laws should be based on nurturant values like empathy and mutual responsibility. As committed progressive activists, we work every day to advocate for policies based on these values.

It’s not easy being a progressive activist right now. The news is full of grim developments and the opposition has control of our federal government and most of the states, too. But if we want to secure a better future for ourselves and our children, then we must persist — especially when the other side warns us not to.

If we want to win and restore progressive governance, then we’ve got to learn how to organize and mobilize for our causes more effectively. Progressive victories, whether electoral, legislative, or judicial, don’t happen by accident… they’re made possible by dedicated leaders doing hard work, often quietly. We will be more effective if we study the tactics and strategies of our most successful leaders, and allow ourselves to be inspired to follow in their footsteps and do likewise.

Lynn Allen

Founding NPI board member Lynn Allen (Photo: Lincoln Potter)

Underpinning every progressive victory is a story… a story of people knocking down barriers and overcoming obstacles, often over a period of many years.

These stories deserve to be told, and their heroes celebrated.

That’s why we at NPI have decided to create the Lynn Allen Awards. Named for our founding boardmember Lynn Allen, who tragically died of ovarian cancer in 2011, these awards will honor people who have made extraordinary contributions to progressive politics and public policy. Each year, we’ll recognize two recipients of different genders with Lynn Allen Awards. Lynn was a big believer in thanking people for their work, so it is truly fitting that these awards are named for her.

Readers, we invite you to join us on Saturday, April 29th, as we present the inaugural Lynn Allen Awards to Joni Earl and Paul Lawrence at our 2017 Spring Fundraising Gala.

Here are the details for this year’s gala:

  • What: NPI’s 2017 Spring Fundraising Gala
  • Where: Mercer Island Community and Event Center, 8236 SE 24th Street, Mercer Island, 98040
  • When: Saturday, April 29th, 2017 | Reception at 6 PM; program at 7 PM
  • Who: Join the NPI team and Lynn Allen Award recipients Sound Transit CEO Emeritus Joni Earl and Paul Lawrence of Pacifica Law Group
  • Why: Because an effective resistance needs organizations testing progressive ideas and building permanent infrastructure

Joni and Paul have each made incredible contributions to progressive causes going back many, many years. It is thanks to Joni that Sound Transit was able to get back on track and fulfill its mission of delivering Link light rail, Sounder commuter rail, and ST Express bus service to the people of Puget Sound.

Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl

Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl speaks at NPI’s 2013 Spring Fundraising Gala. (Photo: Lincoln Potter/Samaya LLC for NPI)

And it is thanks to Paul that a slew of right wing initiatives that threatened our commonwealth and our public schools (including many of Tim Eyman’s) have been struck down as unconstitutional by our courts. Notably, Paul led the legal team that prevailed in LEV v. State, LWV v. State, and Lee v. State.

Paul Lawrence arguing Lee v. State

Paul Lawrence presents oral arguments in Lee v. State in March of 2016 (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

I’m thrilled to announce that both Joni and Paul will be joining us on April 29th to accept their Lynn Allen Awards. I hope that you can join us to meet them and learn from the important victories that they helped secure for us.

Be inspired to continue working for a progressive future for our region and country: join us at our 2017 Spring Fundraising Gala on Saturday, April 29th! Just follow this link to securely buy your individual, household, or living lightly ticket.