WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley will be presented with the 2015 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords will present Councilwoman Pressley with the award at the EMILY’s List 30th Anniversary Gala on March 3rd.
Named in honor of the dedicated and courageous Gabrielle Giffords, the Rising Star Award celebrates an extraordinary woman serving in state or local office. The award honors women who demonstrate the sort of commitment to community, dedication to women and families, and determination and civility that have been the highlights of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ career, in and out of office. The first ever Rising Star Award was given to Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in 2014.
“As the first woman of color elected to Boston City Council, Ayanna Pressley has worked to be a voice for all Bostonians. She has demonstrated a deep commitment to promoting healthy, safe communities where all women and families have a fair shot,” said Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY’s List. “She works tirelessly to identify and create opportunities to make a positive impact on the city and the people she serves. The EMILY’s List community – now more than three million members strong – is thrilled to present Ayanna Pressley with the Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award and is excited to stand with this extraordinary leader as she continues to ignite change.”
"This is a humbling and extraordinary honor, particularly because of the profound respect I have for Gabrielle Giffords and for the steadfast efforts of EMILY's List to support pro-choice women,” said Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley. “The work that I've done as a Boston City Councilor, on behalf of women and girls and in the pursuit of family stabilization, self-sufficiency and equality, is merely an extension and a furthering of my life's work. That work began early thanks to the solid foundation of activism and the seeds of civic engagement planted by my mother. I want to thank EMILY's List for seeing value in these contributions, none of which I've made alone but in partnership with community. I wish to congratulate the other five finalists, all incredible public servants from throughout our country, whom I admire."
In 2009, Ayanna Pressley made history as the first woman of color ever elected to the Boston City Council. In 2011, she made history again by becoming the first person of color to top the ticket. Pressley founded the Committee on Women & Healthy Communities, which focuses on issues unique to girls and women and addresses community destabilization. Pressley has earned national attention for her work with survivors of violence, on teen parenting and sexual health education.
EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $400 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making it one of the most successful political organizations ever. We recruit and train candidates, support strong campaigns, research women's issues, and turn out women voters. We've trained over 9,000 women to run, and helped elect over 100 women to the House, 19 to the Senate, 11 governors, and over 700 to state and local office. Since its founding in 1985, almost one-third of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color - including every single Latina, African American, and Asian American Democratic Congresswoman currently serving.