Judith Alexander, center, pictured at Port Townsend’s Community Build Project site last summer, is the AAUW’s 2022 Woman of Excellence award honoree. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Judith Alexander, center, pictured at Port Townsend’s Community Build Project site last summer, is the AAUW’s 2022 Woman of Excellence award honoree. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Community Build Project volunteer honored with award

People want to do the right thing, she says

PORT TOWNSEND — Judith Alexander has a knack for helping people with different personalities work together, said her friend Annalee McConnell.

“She brings you into the fold,” to build things and make a difference in the world — and “she ensures we have a helluva lot of fun doing it,” McConnell added in her speech hailing Alexander as the AAUW’s 2022 Woman of Excellence.

When the American Association of University Women’s Port Townsend chapter bestowed the prize during a virtual meeting earlier this month, Alexander teared up a little.

Then she focused on what she calls her current passion: the Community Build Project, which has constructed two villages now. Together with volunteers, many of whom she recruited, Alexander has helped frame, paint and furnish tiny homes for Peter’s Place, a transitional housing village in Port Hadlock, and Pat’s Place, the newer village in Port Townsend.

Prior to that work, Alexander had been a leader with the Port Townsend Peace Movement, Bay Saint Louis Sister City Project following Hurricane Katrina and Local 20/20, among other community efforts.

“It was overwhelming,” Alexander, 71, said of the award.

She received it nearly 43 years after she moved from Seattle to Port Townsend, where she has since practiced as a counselor for adults, couples and groups.

“I do love bringing groups of people together,” she said, adding that the Community Build Project connected her with volunteers from many walks of life — all of whom brought their energy and generosity.

Alexander said her father, an inventor, first taught her to think outside the box and to use her creativity. Counseling work taught her to see people’s gifts — and the blocks that keep them from using those talents, she said.

When people get invited to step up and work on a community project, often they’re grateful to be asked, Alexander said.

Experience has shown her that people want to make a difference and do the right thing.

“There’s a lot of right things that need doing right now,” she said.

“We do need each other.”

When she sees inequity in the world, the impulse to organize comes naturally, Alexander said.

“I do what I do because it feels good doing it,” she said, adding, “I tend to listen to and trust my own heart.”

The AAUW Woman of Excellence award has been given for 25 years now to a woman who, through paid or unpaid work, is a role model, change agent and teacher or mentor in Jefferson County.

In normal years, the honoree and her guests are treated to a holiday luncheon. Last year and this year, the chapter decided to forgo such a gathering, awarding a token $100 prize instead.

For more information about the award or AAUW Port Townsend’s other activities, see https://pt-wa.aauw.net.

In 2022, Alexander said she looks forward to the Community Build Project’s next efforts.

“We are not clear yet what they will be, but the team working on the projects is such a fun, open-hearted group to work with,” she said. “Whatever we do, it’ll be fun.”


Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or durbanidelapaz@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

Aubree Hebert, left, and Finn Thompson of Port Angeles High School plant a small tree on their campus on Wednesday, a beautification day for the school. Giant letters P and A were carved out and lined with bricks. The project was led by the Rider Crew, led by Adam Logan, and the Interact Club, with Angie Gooding as the advisor. More than 100 students were enthusiastically involved, and they intend to continue the work next week. Port Angeles School District Superintendent Marty Brewer attended also. Trees were donated by the Clallam County Conservation Society. Landscaping was designed by a student, Scarlett Fulton. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
Beautification day at Port Angeles High School

Aubree Hebert, left, and Finn Thompson of Port Angeles High School plant… Continue reading

East Jefferson ambulance fees could increase

Fire commissioners to discuss topic, encourage public input

Proposed fee increases

Here are increases in the proposed new East Jefferson… Continue reading

Kate Dean.
Kate Dean appointed to state Board of Health

Jefferson commissioner appointed by governor

Port Angeles man faces child rape, incest charges

A 30-year-old Port Angeles man faces possible life in… Continue reading

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
FBI agents and Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies served a search warrant Wednesday in Quilcene that is part of a multi-agency investigation covering Western Washington and at least one other state.
Jefferson County deputies help FBI serve search warrant in Quilcene

Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies assisted FBI agents Wednesday morning in… Continue reading

Reward offered for news of missing teen

The family of a 14-year-old Sequim boy is offering a… Continue reading

Housing Coordinator Holden Fleming speaks to the Port Angeles City Council at their regular meeting on Tuesday, when new zoning codes were adopted in an effort to bring additional housing to the city. (Peter Segall/Peninsula Daily News)
Port Angeles updates zoning regulations

As it aims for additional housing, city revises code

Clallam County still pursuing Slip Point transfer

Historic designation doesn’t matter, county commissioners are told

Most Read