Local 117 Business Representative Dawn Gearhart was recognized at the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) convention in SeaTac today with the 2015 Elsie Schrader Award for the advancement of women in leadership roles and activism on behalf of women within the labor movement.
Over the last three years, Gearhart has demonstrated outstanding leadership in her work organizing and representing Seattle-area taxicab operators and members of the Western Washington Taxicab Operators' Association.
Last year, she helped successfully negotiate an agreement with the City of Seattle that created more taxi stands, more taxi licenses, a fund to offset higher operating costs for wheelchair accessible cabs, and medallions as a property right for taxi owners.
Gearhart identified more affordable insurance options for taxicab operators, which has saved them hundreds of dollars a year in insurance fees. Her work with members this year in Olympia led to the passage of a law that provides drivers with the option about whether to participate in the State's L&I program.
Gearhart has also been instrumental in organizing hundreds of transportation network company drivers into the App-Based Drivers' Association, which was founded in 2014.
These are significant accomplishments that have improved the lives of hundreds of workers throughout our region.
Thank you, Dawn, for your unwavering commitment to workers' rights and outstanding leadership on behalf of of working families! Congratulations!