Our 2016 Advocacy Champions were honored yesterday the 2nd Annual Louisiana Legislative Champions Reception. These individuals help to complement United Way’s public policy efforts by supporting key legislation that not only impact those living in our seven-parish region, but all across the State of Louisiana.
The 2016 Louisiana Legislative Champions included: Senator Ronnie Johns, Senator Daniel Martiny, Senator Jean-Paul Morrell, Senator Karen Carter Peterson, Senator Dan Claitor, Representative Robert Billiot, Representative Walter Leger III, Representative Terry Landry, Representative Christopher Leopold, Representative Joseph Lopinto III, Representative Helena Moreno, Representative Steve Plyant, and Representative Malinda Brumfield White.
“We’re incredibly fortunate to have partners at the state level who not only support our ‘United Against Poverty’ public policy agenda, but also share our passion around these issues and their role in creating systemic change in our region,” says Michael Williamson, President and CEO of United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
Speaker pro tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives and representative for District 91, Walter Leger, says, “For my entire legislative career I have focused on trying to set policies that create opportunities for families to work themselves out of poverty. Better childcare, early childhood education, the earned income tax credit and access to affordable healthcare are but a few ways to build stronger communities and families and to give hard working people the best chance for a better life. It's hard to imagine a better, more dedicated and respected partner than United Way of Southeast Louisiana. No better ally exists for the vulnerable in Louisiana than the United Way. To be honored by them for my work is incredibly humbling, because without the ability to partner with them, achieving the results we have wouldn't be possible. I'm incredibly grateful for the work they do, and on behalf of the community offer them my most sincere admiration and thanks."
Also recognized at the event were our Community Partners who share United Way's vision of equitable communities where all citizens are healthy, educated and economically stable. Honorees included Melanie Bronfin, Marsha Broussard, Barry Erwin, Sherry Guarisco, Julie Schwam Harris, Judge Nancy Amato Konrad, Keith Liedermann, Jan Moller, Patty Riddlebarger, Robert M. Tasman, Carmen Weisner, Mary Claire Landry, Beth Meeks, Dr. Alan Stolier, Norma Grace, Ruth Kennedy, Judge Madeleine M. Landrieu, Kim Carver, James R. Kelly, Aaron Clark-Rizzio and Maria Huete.
Our Public Policy Staff Champion was our Community Impact Staff, led by Vice President Mary Ambrose, for their work in creating United Way of Southeast Louisiana's Blueprint for Prosperity - a plan to eradicate poverty in our region. View the photo gallery here.
Synopsis: "For twenty years Louisiana claimed one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the country: on domestic abuse, the state of Louisiana was sleeping. Each touched by its atrocities in their own lives, a group of five women came together to fight for a law to strengthen the rights of those abused. Helmed by Charmaine Caccioppi and Kim Sport of United way, Mary Claire Landry with the New Orleans Family Justice Center, Beth Meeks with the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Helena Moreno, a Louisiana State Representative, the law aimed to – most controversially – restrict the gun rights of domestic abusers. Five Awake chronicles their campaign through the halls of the state capital as they recount the facts and harrowing stories that forced them to take action. Sweet dreams be damned; before they’re done, Louisiana is going to wake up." – Amber Love