EVERETT — The Snohomish & Island County Labor Council presented the first annual Mike Sells Labor Champion Award to Mary Fosse, an Everett City Council member and Democratic candidate for the 38th Legislative District.
The new award honors Rep. Mike Sells, a Democrat in his ninth term representing the 38th Legislative District. Sells is retiring this year, after serving 18 years.
Fosse is campaigning to succeed Sells in the state House in the Nov. 8 election.
The award recognizes a “deserving recipient who has championed the cause of organized labor and public service here in Western Washington,” the council said.
Fosse, has “dedicated much of her career to public service, advocacy for women’s and workers’ rights, environmental activism and support for the mission of organized labor to lift up working families,” the council said.
“I’m honored to receive this award, and proud to be following Rep. Sells, who has created a legacy of community service and advocacy for working families,” Fosse said.
Sells served more than 30 years as a teacher in the Everett School District. From 1976 to 2014 he served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Snohomish County Labor Council.
“Mike Sells has dedicated his life and his career to public service, to advancing the labor movement and to bettering the lives of Washington’s working families, and we’re honored to create this award in recognition of his legacy,” said Dan Murphy, vice president of the Snohomish & Island County Labor Council.
The award ceremony took place Oct. 25 at the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. More than 280 people attended the event, including 250 union members, a dozen elected officials, and representatives from community, charitable and educational groups.
The trophy will be awarded to a community leader each year, and then returned.
“It’s like the Stanley Cup,” Murphy said. “The winner displays the trophy for a year, then brings it back to present it to the following year’s winner.”
The recipient’s name, affiliation and date will be inscribed on the trophy’s pedestal. As a keepsake, recipients will receive a commemorative model.
Proceeds from the event’s ticket sales went to the council’s Hardship Fund, which supports union families hit by layoffs, medical costs or other hardships, the council said.
The other nominees for the 2022 Labor Champion Award included Megan Dunn, Snohomish County councilmember; David Simpson, Port of Everett commissioner; Larry Brown, president of the Washington State Labor Council; the union activists who organized the Starbucks Workers United Union at Everett and Marysville stores, and the union nurses at Providence Hospital in Everett.
The Labor Council is an AFL-CIO-affiliated federation of 64 public- and private-sector unions representing 42,000 working families.