The Stand

Mike Sells Labor Champion Award presented to Mary Fosse

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EVERETT (Oct. 27, 2022) — The Snohomish & Island County Labor Council (SICLC) presented the first annual Mike Sells Labor Champion Award to Mary Fosse at a ceremony held Tuesday night at the Edward D. Hansen Center in Everett. Some 250 union members, a dozen elected officials, and representatives from community, charitable and educational organizations were in attendance.

Fosse, a member of the Everett City Council and candidate for State Representative in the 38th Legislative District, 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.

Calling the award “a great honor,” Fosse thanked the members of the SICLC’s Nominating Committee and offered congratulations to the other candidates who were nominated for the award.

“I’m honored to receive this award,” Fosse said, “and proud to be following Representative Sells, who has created a legacy of community service and advocacy for working families. He is a mentor and a friend, and it means so much to receive an award bearing his name.”

Mike Sells and his granddaughter, Mary Fosse, and SICLC Secretary Treasurer Charlotte Murry

Fosse is seeking election to Sells’ seat in the Washington State House of Representatives this November.

The other nominees for the 2022 Mike Sells Labor Champion Award included Megan Dunn, Snohomish County Councilmember; David Simpson, Port of Everett Commissioner; Larry Brown, president of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO; 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 distinctive trophy presented to Fosse was crafted by several artisans, including Addison Karl, an award-winning sculptor; the 2 Ravens Foundry in Tacoma that cast a bronze relief as the centerpiece of the trophy; Mark and Marcus Ellinger of GlassQuest Studio, father-and-son glassblowers who created a torch on top of the oaken plaque crafted by woodworker and union member Dave Henson, IAFF 1828.

At Tuesday’s dinner, United Way of Snohomish County partnered with the SICLC to encourage donations to the Hardship Fund, which supports union members and families in time of need for groceries, gas, utility expenses, rent, and much more. Donations can still be made online.

Created by the Snohomish & Island County Labor Council, the Mike Sells Labor Champion Award honors the legislator and former union teacher who served for 38 years as the SICLC’s Secretary-Treasurer and was elected nine times to the Washington State House as a representative from the 38th Legislative District. Sells announced his retirement in February 2022.

The Snohomish & Island County Labor Council includes 64 public-and private-sector unions representing 42,000 working families in the two counties and is dedicated to ensuring fair wages, economic justice and workplace safety for all workers in Western Washington.

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