The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) announces that Representative Kelli Linville, 42nd District, was presented with the 2010 Outstanding Elected Official Award. This award is presented to an elected official for outstanding service who has made special contributions to the legal profession. It is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to justice beyond the usual call of duty. WSBA President Salvador A. Mungia presented the award at the WSBA Annual Awards Dinner, held on September 23, 2010 in Seattle.
Representative Linville received her undergraduate and master's degrees from Western Washington University in speech pathology and audiology, and had a 16-year career as a communication disorders specialist with the Bellingham School District prior to joining the Washington State Legislature. Throughout her 17-year career in the legislature, Representative Linville has supported state funding for civil legal aid to assist low-income individuals in crisis, and promoted awareness of the critical need for increased public resources for legal aid in Washington.
Representative Linville serves on several legislative committees. She is chair of the Ways and Means Committee, a past chair of the House General Government Appropriations Committee, and currently serves on the House Audit Review and Oversight Committee, Mental Health Task Force, Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee, and Legislative Council on River Governance.
An active member of her community, Representative Linville has served with many agencies, including the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce, the Bellingham Planning Commission, Evergreen AIDS Foundation Board, the Rainbow Center Advisory Board, the Mt. Baker Theatre Board, and the Whatcom Family YMCA Board.
Earlier this year, she was honored with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs' Gene Cotton Award; in 2009, she received that association's Legislator of the Year Award - House Democrats. She also received the Alliance for Equal Justice Champion of Justice Award in 2008, and was recognized by the Statewide Poverty Action Network and the Sustainable Food and Farming Network in 2009.
"Time and again, Representative Linville has said that the central purpose of government in our state is to provide for the education of our children and to ensure fair and effective justice for our citizens," wrote James Bamberger, director of the State of Washington's Office of Civil Legal Aid. "Representative Linville has been an unabashed champion of ensuring and protecting funding for core judicial branch functions."
"I believe access to justice is a core function of government, and I am committed to making that a priority as we write the state budget," said Linville of her award.