California-based Easter Seals affiliates have selected Assemblymember Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, as a recipient of the Easter Seals 2016 Assembly Leadership Award. The award will be presented March 15 in Sacramento at the organization’s annual Legislative Awards Dinner.
The Easter Seals Legislative Awards Dinner recognizes public officials and advocates for their work to improve the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities and special needs.
“The invaluable support we get from our legislative partners is key in advancing the services and opportunities available for individuals with disabilities in California,” stated Carlene Holden, executive vice president for advocacy, Easter Seals Southern California. “It’s our honor to thank Assemblymember Lackey for his support this past year.”
A former elementary special education teacher, Lackey has been an advocate for the state developmental disability services system, including The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act, since he was elected to the state assembly last year.
In January, Lackey introduced Assembly Bill 1565, which would increase funding to state-supported regional centers by 10 percent. His efforts have also included writing a column about the California Developmental Disability system’s funding crisis for the Los Angeles News Group newspapers and co-authoring one for the Santa Clarita Valley Signal with Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita.
“Easter Seals has humbled me with this award. I am proud to have been an advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities this past year and will continue to do so until the funding that this community so desperately needs and deserves is restored. From the rally we hosted in Lancaster with 400 people to the thousands of petitions that we hand-delivered to the governor’s office, I am committed to ensuring that the promise of the Lanterman Act is fulfilled.”
Lackey has a Bachelor of Science degree in special education from Utah State University. He first entered elected public service as a member of the Palmdale Elementary School District Board of Trustees. Lackey went on to serve two terms as a councilmember for the city of Palmdale from 2005 to 2014. In 2014, he was elected to represent the 36th Assembly District.
Other 2016 Legislative Award honorees include Senator Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles; Senator Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber; Assemblymember Rob Bonta, D-Alameda; and Jacquie Dillard-Foss, CEO of S.T.E.P. disability support services program.
Easter Seals provides services that empower individuals with disabilities and special needs at all stages of life. For more information, visit www.easterseals.com/southerncal.