Representative Ruth Kagi awarded for extraordinary legislative efforts on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Joe Cunningham, King County Family Coalition
Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-32

Over 120 individuals attended the Annual Summer Potluck Picnic of the King County Family Coalition for Developmental Disabilities of the Arc of King County, where six legislators, including 32nd District Representative Ruth Kagi, were awarded for their extraordinary efforts during the 2014 legislative session.

Addressing the unmet need for waiting families whose children qualified for state respite and other state Developmental Disabilities Administration services, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 6387 adding 5,000 individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) to services, as well as put in place a policy to make it easier for families to receive respite care. 

Representative Kagi was awarded for her extraordinary role leading a bi-partisan effort to help people with developmental disabilities. This annual award is given to legislators who go above and beyond to champion DD issues.

When presenting the award to Representative Kagi, event emcee and Coordinator of the King County Family Coalition as well as Shoreline resident, Joe Cunningham, stated, “Three days before attending the annual DD legislative forum last year, Representative Kagi held a committee work session to hear how to address the over 14,000 individual No Paid Services Caseload, focusing attention to respite for families. She told advocates and families that this was one of two top priorities for her in the upcoming session.”
Mr. Cunningham added, “Representative Kagi led efforts all session long to ensure the No Paid Services list, respite for families, and all funds from the Community First Choice Option be directed to DD.  Her help not only with adding the 5,000 waiting families to services, but also included inserting language from a bill that would make it easier for parents to maintain and keep part-time respite helpers. Her efforts to the end of the 2014 session were extraordinary.”

Mr. Cunningham, a resident of the Briarcrest neighborhood in Shoreline, also presented words of personal appreciation to Representative Kagi, remarking, “I personally am thrilled and honored that Representative Kagi is my legislator and am deeply grateful for her work. My son Patrick, who served as Representative Kagi’s honorary page for a day when he was younger, can’t wait until 2016 when he can vote for her as well.” Turning to Representative Kagi at the podium, Mr. Cunningham added, “You are one of his heroes!”

For information about the King County Family Coalition, contact Joe Cunningham, 206-829-7048.   

Founded in 1936, The Arc of King County is the oldest non-profit organization serving individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) in the Greater Puget Sound area, and one of the oldest such organizations in the United States. The Arc works passionately to uphold its vision of a world where individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities thrive as equal, valued and active members of the community.


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