April 29, 2024

WSPTA Delegation Makes an Impact at the 2024 National PTA Legislative Conference

By Nigar Suleman, Federal Legislative Committee

Note: This is part 1 of 2 blog posts covering WSPTA’s experience at the 2024 National PTA Legislative Conference. 

Washington State PTA was well represented at this year’s Legislative Conference (LegCon) and Hill Day hosted by National PTA in Washington D.C. from March 5 to March 7. Our delegation included WSPTA President Angela Steck; Past-presidents Nancy Chamberlain, Michelle Nims, and Heather Gillette; WSPTA Federal Legislative Committee members Danica Noble and Nigar Suleman; and WSPTA advocate Gwen Loosmore. Our goal was to connect with peers from across the country, learn about advocacy strategies, and visit Washington State’s congressional offices.

Members of Washington State's delegation at LegCon24.

Pictured L-R: Danica Noble, Heather Gillette, Nancy Chamberlain, Rediet Tassew, Elinor Widdows, Angela Steck, Gwen Loosmore, Michelle Nims, and Nigar Suleman.

One major highlight for our delegation was recognition by National PTA with the Outstanding State PTA Advocacy Award. This honor is awarded to a state PTA whose efforts positively affected legislative and/or regulatory policy aligned with National PTA’s current public policy platform, notably WSPTA’s sustained support of legislation and policies that help prevent and reduce gun violence and suicide. WSPTA President Angela Steck and our dedicated gun violence prevention advocacy leader Gwen Loosmore accepted this well-deserved award on behalf of WSPTA.

“I was inspired to be part of the event and meet other advocates from around the country,” said Gwen, who has played a major role in developing WSPTA’s approach to gun safety and whose efforts directly contributed to the work for which WSPTA was awarded.

WSPTA President Angela Steck and WSPTA advocate Gwen Loosmore accept the award Outstanding State PTA Advoacy Award.

National PTA President-Elect Dr. William Datema presents the 2024 Outstanding State PTA Advocacy Award to Washington State PTA., represented by Angela Steck and Gwen Loosmore.

As per tradition, the First Lady of the United States addressed LegCon advocates on the conference’s opening day. Dr. Jill Biden shared her enthusiasm and support for PTA advocacy, lauding PTA’s gun violence prevention advocacy and underscoring urgency on this critical area that claims a child’s life in the U.S. more than any other cause.

LegCon’s organizers encouraged attendees to share their individual advocacy experiences with the larger advocacy community. This was facilitated through workshops covering advocacy-focused topics. Our delegation attended presentations titled “Transforming Family Engagement” and “Impact of Social Media on Youth Mental Health,” among others.

One notable session was presented by WSPTA Federal Legislative Committee member Danica Noble, who spoke about building civic engagement. Danica’s session focused on scaling student-parent participation at the local PTA level. She shared her successful experience gathering a large group of parents and children to participate in this year’s Focus on Advocacy Day, held January 15 at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia.

WSPTA Advocate Danica Noble presents at LegCon24 on including students in civic engagement.

WSPTA Advocate Danica Noble presents at LegCon24 on including students in civic engagement.

These sessions were notable not only for insights and ideas shared by speakers but also for the collaborative and congenial exchange of ideas they fostered among PTA advocates from PTAs from across the country. “The contributions from other state PTA advocates was incredibly valuable and made for an enriching and motivating conversation,” said Danica Noble, reflecting on her presentation. “I look forward to putting some of the great ideas into practice and sharing them with our own Washington PTA.”

The theme of this year’s LegCon was “Share Power for Every Child” and many sessions focused on the engaging power of youth voices. We heard from youth advocates about their local advocacy efforts, the challenges they face as they work in their communities, and their ideas on how they would like PTA leaders to engage with them to amplify their voices. Once again Washington State was well represented by two impressive high schoolers, Elinor Widdows and Rediet Tassew from Sammamish High School in Bellevue, who participated in these panels.

The delegation’s experience during Hill Day on March 6 will be covered in part two.

Learn more about secure gun storage at

See the press release on WSPTA winning the State PTA Advocacy Award here.

Category: Advocacy , Leadership , Legislative , Safety

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