The Inaugural Jacob K. Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership

by Monique Rizer   •  

…should partisan power plays be substituted for a bipartisan approach to key issues, the consequences could be disastrous to our position of peace leadership in the free world and to economic and social progress at home. – Sen. Jacob K. Javits

One of the cornerstones of Opportunity Nation’s work is highlighting bipartisan collaboration. So, we are thrilled to collaborate with Carla Javits, President and CEO of REDF and a longtime Opportunity Nation Coalition member, and her family, to recognize three senators, all who are working across the aisle on the nation’s most pressing issues, with a new award. The Marian B. and Jacob K. Javits Foundation will present the inaugural Jacob K. Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership during our national Opportunity Summit on Saturday, September 10.

The Prize will be an annual award to honor public servants whose achievements advance the public interest without regard to political affiliation and is meant to serve as a beacon for other public servants to advance bipartisan solutions and work across partisan boundaries to craft solutions.

2016 award recipients:

  • Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) for a lifetime of bipartisanship. Sen. Collins’ entire life exemplifies the values of bipartisanship in service to country. In 2015, Sen. Collins was ranked the most bipartisan member in the U.S. Senate by the Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. Her many legislative accomplishments range from homeland security to civil rights. In 2013, Sen. Collins forged the bipartisan coalition that ended a 16-day shutdown of the federal government. Most recently she authored bipartisan legislation that would prevent known and suspected terrorists from purchasing guns.
  • Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC) for their emerging partnership and bipartisan efforts. Senators Tim Scott and Cory Booker have formed a bipartisan partnership that embodies Senator Javits’ deep interest in addressing poverty and inequity, and his preferred approach in the mobilization of private capital in the public interest. Most recently, Senators Booker and Scott co-sponsored legislation to incentivize long-term private investment in distressed communities.

“Senator Javits embodied the spirit of putting what’s best for the American people ahead of political expediency, so it’s a profound honor to be recognized by the foundation bearing his name,” said Sen. Cory Booker. “Following the tradition of Senator Javits, I’ve been proud to spend my time in the Senate forging bipartisan relationships in order to address some of the most pressing issues facing our nation. I stand committed to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to create new opportunities in some of our most underserved communities, prepare the next generation of skilled workers, jumpstart economic development, and strengthen our neighborhoods.”

We applaud the leadership of Senators Booker, Scott, and Collins, and we look forward to recognizing their efforts at the 2016 Opportunity Summit.

Monique Rizer

Monique Rizer is the Executive Director of Opportunity Nation. Prior to this role, Monique served as Chief of Staff for Opportunity Nation's parent organization, Be The Change, Inc., a national nonprofit organization that creates issue-based campaigns designed to advance positive social change. Read Monique's Bio.

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