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2016 Jackson Fellows' Projects

Each member of the 2016 class of Henry M. Jackson Leadership Fellows committed to develop and execute a personal project during their fellowship year. The goal was to apply the learning of the year to their projects, to share the experience with other Fellows, and to be of benefit to the community. All of the projects are compelling and reflect the interests of the Fellows and the Foundation.

Tom Bugert: Tom's project, through his work at The Nature Conservancy of Washington, is building a robust, diverse coalition of supporters seeking policy and funding solutions to address the growing risk of wildfires, insects, and disease in Washington State's forests.  Based on his interviews over the Fellowship year with conservation organizations, the timber industry, fire chiefs, governments and community leaders, he has found a growing interest in developing large-scale solutions to reverse this trend.  Tom plans to host a high-profile roundtable to start developing a common vision to create healthy forests and safer communities that can be implemented at the local, state and federal levels.

Matthew Combe: Matt's project concentrates on what it would take to get all commercial and multifamily residential buildings to substantially reduce energy use, water, and transportation emissions. By synthesizing the latest findings of national laboratories and academic researchers and identifying the newest technology in the field, he is determining the state-of-the-art best practices for greener buildings.  Then, through his connections with building owners and managers, he will pinpoint what policies and incentives could be proposed to move these ideas out into widespread use.  Matt will report his findings broadly, utilizing his role at the Seattle 2030 District as the Program and Operations Director.

Michele Frix:  Michele's project explores the unique challenges facing women veterans in Washington State. Starting with mapping the needs of this community, she will then affect change by providing actionable policy recommendations to local decision makers and raise awareness about this timely topic among the civilian population.  Her research includes seeking partnerships with key stakeholders both from the public sector as well as nonprofit organizations serving women veterans. She will compile her findings and policy recommendations into a document that focuses on Washington State and the City of Seattle, in particular, leveraging her position on the Seattle Women's Commission.

Jaime Hawk: Jaime's project uses the Jackson Foundation’s book on Senator Jackson, "The Nature of Leadership: Lessons from an Exemplary Statesman," to develop an interactive workshop for undergraduate women attending the Center for Women and Democracy's Leadership Institute. The session will focus on leadership for the public good and highlight several of the qualities that defined Senator Jackson as a leader: inquisitive, visionary, diligent, pragmatic, open, honest, determined, and inspiring. The female Jackson Leadership Fellows will address the young women college students during a panel discussion. Jaime with one of her mentors, Chuck Blumenfeld, a Foundation Board member.

Ilana Cone Kennedy: Ilana created a student leadership board to enrich and broaden the scope of student engagement at the Holocaust Center for Humanity and inform the Center’s programs and resources. The middle and high school students meet monthly to learn more about the Holocaust and human rights, engage with local community leaders, speak with Holocaust survivors, and develop their own social action service projects.   Students are gaining valuable leadership skills based on Senator Jackson’s legacy, and becoming a cohort of young leaders in our community. Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director, and Anna Marie Jackson Laurence, Board Secretary, joined Ilana at one of the monthly student leadership meetings to reflect on Senator Jackson's values and legacy.

Andrew Lewis: Andrew's project culminated in a law and policy paper published this spring in the Ecology Law Quarterly's publication Currents, a syndicated online environmental law journal.  His paper outlines recommendations to provide stable sources of future funding for the Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).  Senator Jackson introduced the original Land and Water Conservation Fund Act at President Kennedy's request.  For over half a century the Fund has safeguarded the natural heritage of our country for future generations. While current efforts to renew the  LWCF are promising, the question of fully funding the LWCF remains in doubt.

Tamara Power-Drutis: For her project, Tamara is organizing and hosting a workshop entitled "Press for the People:  A Grassroots Media Workshop." This workshop provides a one-day training for refugees, immigrants, and ethnic community leaders to infuse their stories and perspectives into traditional and non-profit media. With the  Jackson Foundation serving as a partner, along with Crosscut Media and local media groups, the participants will gain an understanding of journalistic standards and ethics, best practices, multi-media tools, and techniques needed to participate in and shape the Northwest’s rich civic life.

Simphiwe Laura Stewart: Laura's project resulted in a dynamic video, Our Story, which reflected extensive community interviews with leaders and under-represented voices in Seattle to develop a narrative on local environmental and climate justice issues. She wanted to honor the work that committed stakeholders are doing to address these concerns, but also to challenge the status quo by recognizing the role of power and power imbalances and how this can define how communities experience these matters. The series culminated in a breakfast where interviewees and members of the public watched her video and engaged in a facilitated discussion to tackle climate justice and environmental justice in a comprehensive manner.