As we mourn the loss of Brewster C. Denny (1924-2013) and share our condolences with his family, we pause to remember the many contributions that he made to children and families in Washington and to the mission of the Children’s Alliance.
Brewster was a champion and an inspiration for the Children's Alliance. His passionate belief in the power of effective public policy to improve the lives of children is now embedded into the core of the Children’s Alliance.
Throughout the 1990s, Brewster served as the founding co-chair of the Children's Budget Coalition, an enterprise to create a unified children's budget that was endorsed and promoted to policymakers by dozens of child advocacy and child-serving organizations. As staff to the Coalition, we had the privilege of supporting his great leadership and learning from his ability to foster collaboration. In recognition of his service, the Children’s Alliance presented Brewster with an Outstanding Advocate for Children Award in 1997.
Later, Brewster served on the Children’s Alliance Board of Directors (2004-2011) and on our Public Policy Council. He was a passionate champion for investing in cradle-to-career(s) education, among the first public policy leaders in Washington to recognize that early learning experiences are a vital part of a person’s educational continuum. His was a consistent and compelling voice for fair taxation and a stable revenue structure as essential to strong and effective public systems. Brewster believed in the potential of every child and pushed our lawmakers to put that value into practice in laws, policies and budgets.
In 2011, we named an advocacy award after Brewster. The Brewster C. Denny Rising Advocate Award recognizes Brewster’s legacy of nurturing advocates and his commitment to policy change as a powerful way to improve the lives of kids. Washington state child advocates Bianca Bailey and Jiji Jally have been the first two recipients of this award.
Brewster inspired us and many people to give their best to public service and the public good. He will be greatly missed.
A memorial service for Brewster will be held on July 9th at 3 p.m. at Seattle’s Epiphany Church (1805 38th Avenue). We encourage the many members of the Children’s Alliance community to join us there as we honor his life and his legacy.
-Paola Maranan, Executive Director, Children’s Alliance