Rivers to be honored for promoting access to justice

OLYMPIA… On Saturday the state Access to Justice Board will honor Sen. Ann Rivers with its “Access to Justice Community Leadership Award” for 2017.

The award goes to a person outside the legal community who “has played a strategic, significant and courageous leadership role in improving access to the justice system for those who face economic or other significant barriers.”

Rivers, R-La Center, was nominated for the honor by an official with the state Office of Civil Legal Aid, which is part of government’s judicial branch, and an Access to Justice board member. The state Supreme Court established the board in 1994, charging it with planning for the statewide delivery of civil legal aid services.

“We say the words ‘and justice for all’ when pledging allegiance to our nation’s flag, and Washington’s constitution calls for justice to be administered ‘without unnecessary delay,’” Rivers said.

“Just as a ZIP code shouldn’t restrict educational opportunities for a child in our state, justice for residents of our state shouldn’t be dependent on a person’s income or fluency in English,” she explained.

The award will be presented at the Access to Justice conference in Yakima.