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Los Angeles Controller Laura Chick Named NASW Public Elected Official of the Year

California social worker works to meet the needs of the city

Washington, D.C. - The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is pleased to name Los Angeles Controller Laura Chick the 2008 Public Elected Official of the Year, honoring her dedication to ensuring that the needs of city residents are met by quality and well-funded city programs.

As the first and only woman in the history of Los Angeles to hold citywide office, Ms. Chick serves as the chief auditor, accountant and watchdog for the City of Los Angeles.  As a social worker in public office, she applies social work principles to community organizing and public policy.

“Laura Chick’s contributions to civic leadership and to addressing pressing community issues is vital to the residents of Los Angeles receiving vital government services,” says Dr. James Kelly, president of NASW.  “She is a worthy example of how critical it is for social workers to place an important role in the government.”

As City Controller, Ms. Chick has led an effort to uncover dysfunctional programs and potential fraud in city government.  Earlier this year she authored the City’s first blueprint to end gang violence which has resulted in major changes in correcting the City’s failed approaches to the gang crisis.  She also worked with several MSW students from UCLA to address the truancy problem in the City and continues to work with other social work students at UCLA to involve them in the policy process.

In 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Ms. Chick as a public member of the Board of Governors for the California State Bar.  This elite, 23-member group meets eight times a year to debate organizational policy and professional issues. As a member, she has consistently fought for the public’s right to greater openness and transparency in the workings of the State Bar.

Ms. Chick was elected Los Angeles Controller in 2002.  She was reelected in 2005 with 82% of the vote.  Prior to being elected Controller, she served as a City Councilwoman from 1993 to 2001, representing West San Fernando Valley.  Ms. Chick holds a bachelor degree in history from UCLA and a Master of Social Work from USC.

NASW is pleased to award and recognize Controller Laura Chick as the 2008 Public Elected Official of the Year.

To interview Ms. Chick about this award, please contact NASW Communications at or 202-336-8228.  For more information about NASW, please visit

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NASW is the largest association of social workers in the world, with nearly 150,000 members in 56 chapters throughout the United States and abroad.It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers.  NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.