Each year, Washington Conservation Action names a Legislator of the Year: a leader who has gone above and beyond as an environmental champion during the most recent legislative session.
This year we are honored to announce former Senator Christine Rolfes of the 23rd Legislative District as Washington Conservation Action’s 2023 Legislator of the Year!
“State leaders must never let up on making important policy and budget decisions to ensure current and future generations enjoy a livable planet by taking action to fight climate change and preserve and restore our lands and waters,” said Rolfes. “We must make sure the legislature continues to address dangerous climate pollution and innovative forest management. I am committed to continuing this work at the local county level now, and I am so honored to be recognized as Washington Conservation Action’s 2023 Legislator of the Year!”
Over a long career as one of the most passionate and dedicated environmental leaders in the Washington State Legislature, former Sen. Rolfes focused on three crucial areas: She fought for forestry policies that will ensure healthy state forestlands for future generations. She supported measures to clean up and restore Puget Sound. She was steadfast in her commitment to tackling dangerous pollution.
During the 2023 legislative session and as the Senate’s lead budget writer, former Sen. Rolfes championed securing $83 million to store carbon in older, carbon-dense, structurally complex forests. Rolfes’ efforts ensured the state took a wholistic approach to investing funds under the Climate Commitment Act by including credible natural resource solutions to reduce carbon in the atmosphere and improve resilience. With her leadership, communities statewide – urban, rural, and suburban – all received funding for climate action, which will pay dividends for public health and future generations.
On top of all that, former Senator Rolfes is the first woman to win this distinguished award twice!
Rolfes has led on systemic changes needed to hold polluters accountable. She was the prime sponsor of the 2023 WRAP Act, which would have standardized recycling statewide, using funds from manufacturers that create excess packaging. That bill did not pass yet, but it is in play for 2024 and one of the Environmental Priority Coalition priorities for next year.
Rolfes recently moved to represent her community through the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners, but her outstanding work to center the environment and people in her budget and policy work in the legislature deserves this important recognition. Please join us in congratulating Christine Rolfes and sign up to continue taking bold action during the 2024 Legislative Session!
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