12:07 PM: That video features our area’s King County Councilmember Joe McDermott explaining why he chose West Seattleite Renée Hopkins as one of this year’s nine recipients of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service. Hopkins is CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility; you might also know her through her previous work leading the Seattle Police Foundation, or her community volunteer work. As explained in a County Council announcement, “This will be the 4th year Councilmembers recognize individuals with the MLK Medal of Distinguished Service, which celebrates those who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to make a difference in communities across King County.” The medals were presented in a ceremony this morning downtown.
5:31 PM: After the jump – the news release from McDermott’s office:
It’s a major public health issue and Renèe Hopkins is working to help find the right steps to solve it. The issue is gun violence and as the CEO for the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Renèe is working to reduce gun violence while ensuring those who have firearms are using and storing them responsibly. Today Metropolitan King County Councilmember Joe McDermott recognized Hopkins efforts by presenting her the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service.
“With a network of grassroots volunteers, Renèe spends her days behind the scenes honoring the voices of everyday people who want our communities safe from gun violence,” said McDermott. “Her work resulted in one of the most sweeping gun safety measures to be passed in the United States right here in Washington state, and her work continues to support our efforts at the County to enact common sense gun safety measures like the Gun Safety Action plan. I’m proud that today we can bring Renèe forward and honor her with this important award.”
Hopkins joined the Alliance after working for over a decade as the Executive Director of the Seattle Police Foundation. As the organization’s CEO, Hopkins has worked to promote community education to reduce gun violence, while working on legislation to increase safeguards for those trying to purchase firearms.
The Alliance was part of the effort to place I-1639 on the ballot, and campaigned for its passage. State voters approved the measure, which raised the age to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles, last November. The Alliance was also involved in the passage of I-1491, which created Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), and I-594, which closed the background check loophole.
The annual presentation of the MLK Medal of Distinguished Service is the Council’s way of thanking those who have made a particularly strong impact on the county and to encourage others to renew their dedication to serve their community.
This is the fourth year Councilmembers have recognized individuals in their districts who have answered the question asked by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “What are you doing for others?”
All the medal recipients honored today are listed here.