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Voting Now Open for 2019 Barbara Jordan Leadership Award

Updated: Jul 15, 2019


Barbara Jordan, co-founder of People For the American Way Foundation, was a true visionary and public servant. Serving as the first African-American woman in the Texas State Legislature, and the first African-American US Congresswoman from the Deep South, she championed voting rights and the causes of the poor, the disadvantaged, and people of color. While serving on the Judiciary Committee during the Watergate hearings, she rose to national prominence with her impassioned speeches about the Constitution, stating, “My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total.”


This award honors Congresswoman Jordan’s dedication to public service and our country by recognizing an outstanding young elected official who is following in her footsteps. The Barbara Jordan Leadership Award will be given to a young elected official who has shown dedication and support to the YEO Network and has a distinguished record of public service to their community and the progressive movement at large.


The award winner is selected by fellow members of the YEO Network through an online vote and is announced during YEO Convening Weekend, August 1-4th in Miami Florida.


YEO Members: Vote Now for the 2019 Barbara Jordan Award Winner. Voting closes July 28th.

Dr. Dorcey Applyrs was elected to the City of Albany Common Council in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. She currently serves as chair of the Public Safety Committee. Dr. Applyrs has an earned master’s and doctorate in public health from the University at Albany. She was named “40 Under 40” by the Albany Business Review, Young Alumni of Excellence by her alma mater, 2017 Women and Girls Ambassador by Girls Inc. of the Capital Region, and Resourceful Woman by the Capital Region YWCA. She was featured on the cover of HerLife New York magazine and honored by U.S. Senator Gillibrand with the Off the Sidelines Equality Advocacy award. Dr. Applyrs’ conviction for advocacy and women’s empowerment resulted in her being named a rising leader to watch. She resides in Albany with her loving husband, Dr. Don-Lee Applyrs and their beautiful daughter, Noble Lee. Vote for Dorcey!



Mandela Barnes serves as Wisconsin’s 45th Lieutenant Governor.  He is the first African-American to serve as a Lieutenant Governor in Wisconsin, and the second African-American to ever hold statewide office.  Born and raised in Milwaukee, Mandela is the son of a public-school teacher and a United Auto Workers member, to whom he credits much of his success. He grew up attending Milwaukee Public Schools and is an alumnus of Alabama A&M University. In 2012, at the age of 25, Mandela was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly, where he served two two-year terms.  His tenure in the State Assembly included serving as Chair of the Legislature’s Black and Latino Caucus and becoming a recognized leader on progressive economic policies and gun violence prevention legislation. Vote for Mandela!



Daniel Hernandez Jr., is an Arizona State Representative from Southern Arizona. A champion for Reproductive Rights, Gun Violence Prevention, and LGBT Issues. He helped co-founder of the first ever LGBTQ Caucus for the Arizona State Legislature. He was pivotal in repeal Arizona's anti-LGBT "No Promo Homo" law. He also has worked to pass additional protections for victims of sexual assault. He was the 2015 Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 40 under 40 Man of the Year. As a first generation college student, he was a congressional intern for the office of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford’s of Arizona.


While assisting Congresswoman Gifford’s with a constituent event in Tucson on January 8, 2011, Daniel took actions for which he is widely credited with saving the life of the Congresswoman after a gunman shot her and 18 other people. Prior to serving the legislature he was elected to the Sunnyside Unified School District Governing board. In that role, he was successful in creating a 5-year strategic plan, opened new K-8 fine arts magnet school, hired a new superintendent, passed comprehensive sex education and secured grant funding to implement it. Vote for Daniel!



Natalia D. Macker is Chairwoman of the Teton County Board of County Commissioners and a cofounder of the Wyoming Women's Action Network. Macker collaborates with several Wyoming-based organizations to advance women's representation in government and secure the economic future of women. She captained the Wyoming chapter of Courage To Run in 2018 and 2019 and is regularly involved in recruiting women to run for public office and mentoring women as they run and enter public office. As the youngest member and only woman on the Board of County Commissioners, her current efforts include implementing a health-in-all-policies framework, a county-wide water quality plan, affordable housing partnerships, wage equity initiatives and launching an early childhood education and childcare initiative. In collaboration with a fellow YEO, Macker helped introduce pregnant workers accommodations legislation.


Macker serves as statewide chair of the Health, Safety, and Social services committee for the Wyoming County Commissioners Association, mentors new commissioners, and represents Wyoming on several National Association of Counties committees. She has been a board member of Energy Conservation Works (a local organization focused on increasing energy sustainability), currently serves on the Land Quality Advisory Board (DEQ), advises for the Period Project (an effort to end period poverty in the county), and is the Wyoming delegate to Vision2020 (a nonpartisan convener of women and men committed to gender equality).


Her commitment to advancing discourse in a conservative state led to her participation in High Noon in America, a docu-driven civic action film showing how face-to-face conversations are the beginning of change, and the First but Last Podcast, both with the Wyoming Humanities Council and Wyoming PBS. Since the birth of her second son, Macker has become involved with advocacy and inclusion efforts for individuals with limb differences. With YEO, she served on the steering committee for the first Women's Conference, initiated a rural caucus, and is a graduate of the Front Line Leaders Academy. Vote for Natalia!



Rashida Tlaib is a well-known progressive warrior and, in her own words, “a mother working for justice for all.” Rashida made history in 2008 by becoming the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the Michigan Legislature. When billionaire slumlord Matty Moroun refused to follow the law and get polluting semi-trucks off neighborhood streets, Rashida organized residents with the We Have A Right To Breathe campaign and forced Moroun to fulfill his obligations to protecting public health. When large piles of black dust started showing up on the Detroit riverfront and blowing into homes and parks, and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality told residents everything was fine, Rashida collected samples and got the substance tested herself - exposing the cancer-causing “petroleum coke” as a threat, and getting it removed.

As an attorney at the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, Rashida took the movement to the courts, fighting racist emergency managers, abusive state agencies, and leading the fight for community benefits agreements that promote equitable development. Rashida made history again in 2018 as one of the first two Muslim women ever elected to the U.S. Congress. As the Congresswoman for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, she has fought against corporate greed and discrimination, worked to close ICE’s illegal detention camps, and led the charge to hold the President accountable to the Constitution. She has transformed what Congressional constituent services look like, operating four neighborhood service centers across the district, where residents can get help with a wide array of issues, from preventing tax foreclosure to help accessing federal services. Vote for Rashida!



On November 8, 2016, Michael Tubbs was elected to serve as the mayor of the City of Stockton, California. Upon taking office in January 2017, Michael Tubbs became both Stockton’s youngest mayor and the city’s first African-American mayor. Michael Tubbs is also the youngest mayor in the history of the country representing a city with a population of over 100,000 residents. Included in Fortune’s 2018 Top "40 under 40," Forbes' 2018 list of the “30 Under 30” and The Root's 100, Tubbs’ leadership, paired with an ambitious agenda, has received national recognition. 


Mayor Michael Tubbs has secured over $20 million in philanthropic capital to launch the Stockton Scholars, a place-based scholarship that aims to triple the number of Stockton students entering and graduating from college. Mayor Tubbs also brought Advance Peace to Stockton, a data-driven program that works to reduce gun violence in communities.


Additionally, with an innovative public-private partnership supported by a $1,000,000 seed grant from the Economic Security Project, Tubbs launched the nation’s first municipal level basic income pilot, the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration.


Before becoming mayor, Michael Tubbs served as Stockton's District 6 City Councilmember. Elected at age 22 in 2013, he became one of the youngest City Councilmembers in the country. As a councilmember, Tubbs created the Reinvent South Stockton Coalition, championed the creation of the City’s Office of Violence Prevention and was part of the council that led the city out of bankruptcy as Chair of the Audit and Legislative Committee. Vote for Michael!

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