• Joe Graviss

PRESS RELEASE: KCADV & KASAP present Rep. Graviss with 2019’s “Champion of Justice” Award

Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence CEO Angela Yannelli, left, and Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs Executive Director Eileen Recktenwald present state Rep. Joe Graviss with this year’s “Champion of Justice” award for his work during this summer’s special legislative session to protect their programs and others from steep increases in public-pension costs. They gave the award during their 21st annual Conference for Ending Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, which was held this past weekend in Lexington.

LEXINGTON – Recognizing his work this past summer to protect funding for critical services that they and other quasi-governmental agencies provide, the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence (KCADV) and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP) have named state Rep. Joe Graviss as this year’s “Champion of Justice.”

            They presented the award during their 21st annual Conference for Ending Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, which was held this past weekend in Lexington.

            “Representative Joe Graviss is one of the most energetic and hardworking people in our state legislature I have had the pleasure to meet, and he has long been a strong supporter of what we do,” KCADV CEO Angela Yannelli said.  “We selected him for the award this year, though, because of his outstanding work on behalf of quasi-governmental programs like ours during July’s special legislative session.  The sensible solutions he sought to solve the public-pension crisis showed there was a better alternative to what became law, and our hope is that his legislation and willingness to work in a bipartisan way will serve as a guide during the 2020 legislative session as we seek to keep our employees working and our programs running.”

            KASAP Executive Director Eileen Recktenwald noted that the award was first established two years ago to pay tribute to the organizations’ biggest supporters.

“The work they do has been invaluable for the survivors who depend on our domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers and child advocacy centers,” she said.  “It means a lot that they have someone like Representative Graviss in their corner, and we have no doubt that he will continue working on our behalf when the legislature returns to the Capitol next month.”

Representative Graviss, whose 56th House District includes all of Woodford and portions of Franklin and Fayette counties, said in accepting the award that “I am deeply honored to be this year’s recipient, but we all know that the folks doing God's work can be found at these amazing organizations serving Kentucky.  They’re re the real heroes and champions of justice every day. I'm just the blessed one who gets to be their voice in Frankfort.”

He added that “my goal in 2020 remains the same as it was leading up to the special session: Finding a permanent way to help these agencies thrive while still paying down our public-pension liabilities.  No one wins if we saddle the agencies with debt or pension payments they can’t afford and that would all but force them to slash services or possibly close down altogether.  With a new governor and a new attitude in Frankfort, I’m more hopeful than ever that we can find a better way.”

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