2021-2022 Legislative Action Committee

Contact the committee by clicking here.

NASW Washington State Chapter includes a Legislative Action Committee (LAC). The LAC sets legislative priorities and assists the contract lobbyist in carrying out legislative programs approved by the Board.

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Nichelle Curtis-McQueen, MSW

Legislative Action Committee Chair

Nichelle is a BSW from University of Indianapolis and MSW from Simmons University (formally know as Simmons College) originally from Indiana and has lived in Washington since 2012. She currently lives in Federal Way, WA, and is the co-chair the City of Federal Way Diversity Commission.  She currently works for the State of Washington Juvenile Rehabilitation at an institution called Green Hill School as a compliance manager.  She has worked for this agency since 2012 when she moved to Washington.

Maria Alba-Estrada, LCSWA, MHP, AAC

Eastern Washington 

Maria is a first year MSW graduate who is looking for various volunteer opportunities that will benefit her community and strengthen her skills as a social worker. She graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2018 with a BASW, where she did an internship with child welfare. After a gap year, Maria went on to graduate with her MSW from EWU in 2020 where she interned with Sacred Heart Providence Hospital's Emergency Department. She currently work for CORE Health a community mental health agency in Longview WA. She is currently licensed as a LCSWA and MHP. ​

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Garrett Hebel, MSW, LICSW, SUDP

Chapter President 2021-2023

With a Bachelors in Social Work and Spanish from Loras College in Dubuque, IA, and a Master of Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago, Garrett moved to Seattle in 2016 when he joined Harborview Medical Center in Seattle to serve as a Mental Health Practitioner, in which he provides outpatient assessment, case management, referral, and group and individual therapy for clients with mental health and substance use disorders. Garrett holds licenses in WA as an Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and Substance Use Disorder Professional.

Nancy Amidei, MSW

Western Washington

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Maame Bassaw

Western Washington

As Maame continues her journey in receiving her MSW, she would like to extend her contribution within her focus area of community organization, advocacy, social justice and political leadership to NASW. She is active in legislative policy for behavioral health services in the state of WA as a Certified Peer Counselor and community leader. She would like to share her knowledge of current legislations that will benefit NASW and be a voice for the realm of social work. She has been apart of legislative workgroups for recent behavioral health bills that have passed in WA state. She would like to strengthen advocacy and participation in the legislative process for NASW WA as much as possible.​

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Adrian Bruton, ACSW

Western Washington

Adrian Bruton (LICSW. ACSW, OSW-C) is a transplant from Alabama to Olympia. She is a certified oncology social worker. She is in the process of working towards her DSW from The University of Alabama.

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Brigitte Folz, LICSW

Western Washington

Brigitte Folz has been a social worker since 1982 when she graduated with her MSW from the UW. She is proud to join the Legislative Action Committee. Brigitte was a child immigrant during the post WW2 migrations and resettlements of the 1950s and was the first in her family to attend college. This shaped her commitment and career dedicated to serving vulnerable populations. Behavioral Health has been her area of career focus and commitment. She retired from Harborview Medical Center in 2020. She remains active in her role of affiliated UWSSW faculty as clinical assistant professor; Brigitte served on the NASW-WA chapter board for many years, most recently as VP for Finance and currently serves as PACE treasurer.

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Arden Hellmann, MSW

Western Washington

Arden Hellmann serves as a lecturer and faculty member in the UW Office of Field Education. Arden’s career began in Seattle working for and helping to start a community-based organization, partnering with communities, schools and families to help children and youth thrive in schools. Her experience also includes management of a family support center, grant administration, and program oversite for new funding streams for private and public organizations.

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Christine Ingersoll, MSW, ACSW, LICSW

Western Washington

Christine has been a social worker since 1976, working first in residential treatment for children, special needs foster care and adoption, and then transitioning to hospital based medical social work and then to  home based hospice care. After retiring from full time work, Christine continued with a small practice providing individual supervision for social workers working towards licensure. She is a strong advocate for social work, and has mentored many people in the profession.

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Amber Letchworth, BASW

Eastern Washington 

Amber joined NASW as an undergraduate in the BASW program at EWU. Amber is currently attending Gonzaga University School of Law, pursuing her JD/MSW. Amber's undergraduate studies focused on analyzing systems as perpetuating disparities in our society and expanding cultural understandings of historically marginalized groups. In addition to my many advocate roles in Amber's community, she co-founded The Revive Center for Returning Citizens in 2015—a peer-led non-profit organization that collaborates with impacted populations and families. 

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Midge Levy, ACSW

Western Washington

Midge Levy retired from many years of working in Seattle at Group Health Cooperative as a social work manager in Home Health and Hospice, also as a member of the HIV/AIDS team.  She served on the board of NASW WA for many years as well as the board of End of Life WA, and worked on the successful passage of the WA Death with Dignity law in 2008.

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Vernon Loke, Ph.D.

Eastern Washington

Vernon Loke, PhD, is currently the Associate Dean at the College of Professional Programs, and Professor of Social Work, at Eastern Washington University. Vernon’s practice and research focus on program development and evaluation, financial empowerment, asset building, legislative engagement and advocacy, and consumer protections. He also volunteers on the boards of several social service organizations and advocacy groups. 

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Christina Mason, MSW

Western Washington

Christina Mason received a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Washington in 2013. She lives in Seattle and is currently the Program Manager at King County Drug Diversion Court. Prior work has included Emergency Department social work, and outreach / case management with youth experiencing homelessness and incarceration. She began serving on NASW’s Legislative Action Committee in 2020.  

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Skye Newkirk, LICSW

Eastern Washington

Skye first became involved in NASW when he lived in Ft. Worth, TX studying to obtain his BSW. He sat on the state NASW board as the BSW student representative at that time, and spent the year participating in conference planning, legislative action, and advocating within the organization for LGBTQ+ members. At the end of the year, he received the chapter's BSW Student of the Year award. Fast forward to today, and he works at a primary care clinic in Goldendale, WA. His clinical practice has strengthened his skills in communication and advocacy, and living in a rural area has challenged him to open his perspective to the strengths and special qualities of rural social work. He is honored to continue his service to the NASW organization and to be a voice that breaks isolation for the community of rural Washington social workers.

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Janice Nordland, LICSWA

Western Washington

Janice is a School Social Worker with a passion for helping families and communities navigate educational systems. Her goal is to improve access to education, increase engagement, and support marginalized communities within these systems. She graduated with an MSW in 2016 from UW Tacoma and is currently pursuing her LICSW.​

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Claudia Sellmaier, Ph.D., MSW, MA

Western Washington

Claudia was trained and worked as a social worker in Germany, mainly working with unhoused young adults providing wrap-around services. She is now faculty at the University of Washington Tacoma School of Social Work and Criminal Justice.

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Ruby Townsend, LSWAIC

Ruby works as a social worker for a Mobile Integrated Health program housed within the Bellevue Fire Department, responding to 911 calls alongside first responders with the goal of trying to fill gaps in our current mental health, medical, and social service systems. Ruby hopes to use her experience with vulnerable populations and people in crisis to inform policy decisions that will not only change the systems to serve these individuals better, but also to help shape the newly emerging field of mental health crisis response.