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Published on Sep 26, 2019

Association of Washington Cities honors Chelan Mayor Mike Cooney with Advocacy All-Star Award

Contact: Emma Shepard

The Association of Washington Cities (AWC), an Olympia-based organization advocating on behalf of Washington’s 281 cities and towns, recently honored Chelan Mayor Mike Cooney with an AWC Advocacy All-Star Award.


Now in its fifth year, the award acknowledges city officials who publicly advocate for the needs of cities and towns in Washington state. City officials receiving the award this year conducted advocacy efforts before and during the 2019 legislative session.

Cooney is recognized for his efforts to advocate for funding and tools to address affordable housing challenges. His advocacy extended to testifying on multiple bills, including proposals to create new tools for smaller cities to incentivize affordable housing construction.

In particular, Mayor Cooney traveled to Olympia and presented Chelan’s unique housing challenges to the Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Committee. He described the difficulties Chelan faces as an area with very high property values but low average incomes for the individuals who live and work there, and gave examples of the work that the city is doing to help.

Cooney testified in favor of expanding existing tools that the state provides to large cities to smaller cities as well. The mayor used concrete examples and local impact stories to make the case that housing issues are not just a big city problem and that the state needs to figure out how to help all cities make progress on housing affordability.

“I’m excited and thankful for this advocacy all-star award, but this is really an award for the city of Chelan,” said Mayor Cooney, “This community has pulled together to prioritize helping provide more affordable housing in our city, and I’m just blessed to be able to share that passion with the state lawmakers to convince them to give all cities the tools to be part of the solution.”

“Mayor Cooney exemplifies the best of city leadership,” said AWC CEO Peter King. “First by working to improve his own city by sharing Chelan’s story. But also by helping make the case that the state needs to partner with all cities, big and small to address a problem as important as our affordable housing crisis.”

AWC presented the award to Mayor Cooney on September 24 at a Chelan City Council Meeting.

AWC serves its members through advocacy, education, and services. Founded in 1933, AWC is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation that represents Washington's cities and towns before the state legislature, the state executive branch, and with regulatory agencies. Membership is voluntary. However, AWC consistently maintains 100 percent participation from Washington’s 281 cities and towns. AWC also provides training, data and publications, and programs such as the AWC Employee Benefit Trust, AWC Risk Management Service Agency, AWC Workers’ Comp Retro Program, AWC Drug and Alcohol Consortium, and AWC GIS Consortium.

Media contact:
Emma Shepard
Communications Coordinator
(360) 753-4137

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