Deborah Parker, former vice chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors, speaks during a healing event at the Hibulb Cultural Center in 2013. Parker is among recipients of the 2017 KSER Voice of the Community Awards. (Genna Martin / Former Herald Staff Photographer)

Deborah Parker, former vice chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors, speaks during a healing event at the Hibulb Cultural Center in 2013. Parker is among recipients of the 2017 KSER Voice of the Community Awards. (Genna Martin / Former Herald Staff Photographer)

KSER-FM celebrates this year’s Voice of the Community Awards

Nominations came from listeners, station volunteers and board members.

In 2013, when she was vice chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes, Deborah Parker was in the nation’s capital to see then-President Barack Obama sign the Violence Against Women Act.

She had shared her own story of abuse as a child with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and lobbied for changes in the law to give tribal authorities more power to prosecute non-Indians for crimes committed on tribal land.

In 2016, she was appointed by Sen. Bernie Sanders to the Democratic National Convention’s platform committee. Last year, she was given Snohomish County’s first Human Rights Award.

Next week, Parker will be among those honored at the 2017 KSER Voice of the Community Awards celebration. The Everett-based independent public radio station’s breakfast is scheduled for 7-9 a.m. Oct. 19 at the Tulalip Resort Casino.

Parker now has no role in tribal government, but she has a new job with the Marysville School District. She is the district’s director of equity, diversity and Indian education. “This will take me into the schools, the community, into tribal organizations and beyond,” she said Tuesday.

She is one of several KSER Community Impact by an Individual honorees. The other award winners are:

Claudia D’Allegri, Community Impact by an Individual. D’Allegri is senior vice president of behavioral health with Sea Mar Community Health Centers. She oversees inpatient and outpatient behavioral health programs and is a minority mental health consultant working statewide.

Tom Clendening, KSER general manager, said nominations for D’Allegri noted that she volunteered at immigrant rights forums and helped provide family counseling, especially for children fearing deportation. “She’s an advocate for immigrant communities in Snohomish County,” he said.

Bill Runte and Frank Church, Community Impact by Individuals. Runte and Church are volunteer chefs at Ronald Commons Cafe, which hosts a free dinner every Thursday at Ronald United Methodist Church in Shoreline.

Sandy Thompson, Cultural Impact by an Individual. Thompson, of Everett, served more than 15 years on the nonprofit KSER Foundation’s board of directors. His tenure recently ended. “He’s extremely passionate about community radio,” Clendening said.

Zonta Club of Everett, Community Impact by an Organization. Part of Zonta International, the service organization works to improve the lives of women locally and globally. Through donations and scholarships, Zonta Club of Everett provides educational opportunities for local women and supports area nonprofits.

F.I.G.H.T. (Formerly Incarcerated Group Healing Together), Cultural Impact by an Organization. Based in King County, this group works with people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent who are incarcerated or are re-entering society. Services, according to its website, include support groups at the Monroe Correctional Complex and other prisons in Washington, mentoring and job training.

“This is the 10th year we have done it,” Clendening said of the awards. Free tickets are still available for the breakfast, but reservations are needed. Donations will help support KSER, 90.7 FM, and KXIR, a sister station simulcasting from Freeland.

Nominations may come from listeners, station volunteers or board members. Past award winners, people from the community, KSER board members and a station staff person help choose recipients.

Clendening said two people nominated Parker. Nominations mentioned her work related to the Violence Against Women Act, involvement in a young mothers’ program and one aimed at reducing tobacco use, as well as being named by Sanders to the Democratic platform committee.

“The platform experience was quite intense,” Parker said. “I traveled throughout the country listening to folks about everything from war and health care to education and poverty.” She helped work through policy issues. “It was a big debate,” she said. “There were a lot of things I supported and some things I didn’t.”

D’Allegri works for Sea Mar Health Centers out of Seattle, but lives in Snohomish County. “I’ve spent a lot of time through church, Edmonds Community College and other organizations doing work after hours to support and help immigrants,” D’Allegri said Tuesday. “When changes happened at the federal level, there was a lot of panic.”

At meetings around Snohomish County, she helped provide legal advocacy, notary service and counseling. “I’ve spent a lot of time talking to families about their rights,” D’Allegri said.

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

KSER breakfast

The 2017 KSER Voice of the Community Awards Celebration is scheduled for 7-9 a.m. Oct. 19 in the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Orca Ballroom, 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip. Tickets free (donations accepted), but reservations needed. Send email to: RSVP@KSER.org

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