3.13.2012 Costa Nominates Valley Advocate for 2012 Victims’ Rights Caucus Award

Fresno, CA – Rep. Jim Costa announced that he has nominated Candy O’Donel-Browne, President of the Board of Directors of Mountain Crisis Services, Inc. (MCS), for the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus’ Ed Stout Memorial Award for Outstanding Victim Advocacy. On April 19th, the Victims’ Rights Caucus will hold their annual award ceremony to honor outstanding individuals who have devoted countless hours of their time and service to helping victims of crime. Since 1990, O’Donel-Browne has been a tireless advocate for victims of domestic violence in rural communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

“Candy is one of our unsung heroes who has tirelessly given of herself to guarantee that any victim of violent crime or domestic violence has a place to turn in our Valley,” said Costa. “Her passion and grace has given hope to survivors during traumatic times and to those of us who have had the privilege to know her work. As Co-Chair of the Victims’ Right Caucus, it is an honor to nominate her for this award.”

Mountain Crisis Services, Inc. is the only agency in Mariposa and Merced Counties to provide comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault services free of charge.

“During my 9 years of work with Candy, she has provided me strong mentorship, leadership, and support - all helping to lead to the success of our work at Mountain Crisis Services,” Chevon Kothari, Executive Director of Mountain Crisis Services. “She is always very quick to ask the essential question that sometimes gets lost as we go about our administrative work - “how does this impact victims?” That unwavering focus makes Candy the strongest victim’s advocate I know.”

Costa is a co-founder and co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, formed in 2005. The mission of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus is to elevate crime victim issues in Congress in a bipartisan manner without infringing on the rights of the accused, and to represent and to advocate before the Administration and within Congress on behalf of crime victims.