RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia state Senator Jennifer McClellan is one of six finalists for the 2017 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. The award was established by EMILY’s List, a resource for women in politics, and it “celebrates an extraordinary woman serving in state or local office.”
“The award honors a woman who demonstrates 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 organization said in a press release.
Previous Rising Star Award recipients include Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in 2014, Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley in 2015, and Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran in 2016.
“Jennifer is a fearless champion for all Virginians,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List. “Her dedication to improving her local community has left a major impact in the lives of women and families across her home state. Her civil rights activism and focus on providing support to survivors of sexual violence makes her an invaluable leader in the Virginia state Senate.”
McClellan took the Virginia state Senate in January 2017, in a special election after A. Donald McEachin was elected to represent the 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
She serves on the agriculture, conservation and natural resources, local government, and transportation committees; chairs the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission; co-chairs the Capital Region Caucus; and is a member of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council.
McClellan represented the 71st District for five terms in the Virginia House of Delegates. She has also served as Chair of Governor McAuliffe’s transition team, and as a member of Governor McDonnell’s Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Advisory Board, Governor Kaine’s Poverty Reduction Task Force and Commission on Sexual Violence, and the Civil Rights Memorial Commission.
“It has been an incredible honor to serve Virginia in the General Assembly. I’m both humbled and excited to have my service recognized by EMILY’s List for an award that celebrates the commitment to community and public service epitomized by Gabby Giffords. I have always viewed public service as an integral part of my life even before I was first elected to office in 2005, and I’m honored that EMILY’s List has selected me as a finalist for the Rising Star Award,” said McClellan.
The Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award winner will be chosen with community input. Online voting can be found here: Vote for the 2017 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star.
McClellan is nominated alongside Teresa Benitez-Thompson; Nevada Assembly Majority Leader; Coral Evans, Mayor of Flagstaff, Arizona; Nicole Galloway, Missouri State Auditor; Lorena González, Seattle City Councilmember; and Helen Gym, Philadelphia Councilwoman.