At its 14th annual Good Government Awards, the League of Women Voters of greater Pittsburgh honored two individuals and 2 organizations. The League says the award is to pay tribute to those who have conducted public activities that serve to strengthen our democracy, promote good government practices and contribute to the common good.
Charles Quennan, senior counsel at K & L Gates and the former chairman of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, was presented with the Tom Foerster Lifetime of Civic Leadership Award. Quennan was a leader in establishing the Allegheny Regional Asset District which provides a steady source of funding for libraries, parks and arts organizations.
In accepting the award, Quennan called for a greater investment early on in kids' lives as a possible solution to drugs and crime...
"Just think, having educated citizens rather than dropouts. Just think...having productive citizens rather than those on welfare. Just think...having responsible citizens rather than those being incarcerated."
The Women's Law Project received the Good Government Award for its work in advocating on behalf of impoverished women, for fair and accessible procedures in child custody and protection from abuse action. Senior attorney Susan Freitsche said their goal is to eradicate sexual discrimination in all of its manifestations....
"While we have good constitutional protections and some pretty good statutory protections and some pretty good case law, often those protections don't find their way into the reality of life for women and girls. That's where we come in. Our job is to make these rights realities for women and girls."
The Rand Corporation's Pittsburgh office was also honored. Rand conducts research in policy areas including education, health care, criminal and civil justice, transportation, energy and homeland security. The League said Rand's involvement has helped citizens better understand the decision-making context, and enables policy makers to make choices based on nonpartisan data and analysis.
Longtime Pittsburgh School Board director William Isler, the CEO of Family Communications and who works with the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media, was honored for his work in children's education. He said he has a saying on his wall......"Anybody who does anything in this life to help a child, is a hero to me."
Isler saluted the great teachers, administrators, parents and "wonderful students" in the school district.