For Immediate Release
July 2, 2020
EMILY's List Announces Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes as 2020 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award Winner
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced that the 2020 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award will be awarded to Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes. The award will be presented at the virtual We Are EMILY Conference on July 27th and will feature remarks by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILYs List, released the following statement:
“Emilia Sykes is a phenomenal legislator and champion for civil rights, and EMILYs List is proud to honor her with the 2020 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. As Ohio House minority leader, Emilia has proven her dedication to her community, working across the aisle to nearly double the amount of bipartisan legislation passed by the State House, and empowering women by fighting to re-establish the Ohio Women’s Policy and Research Commission. She continues to be a leading voice on racial health disparities in the COVID-19 pandemic and passionately calls out systemic oppression of the Black community, including writing a resolution demanding the declaration of racism as a public health crisis. As co-chair of the Legislative Task Force on Redistricting, Reapportionment, and Demographic Research, Emilia will hold officials accountable and ensure a fair redistricting process in 2021. We are proud to celebrate Emilia’s fearless leadership and we could not be more excited to see where her work takes her in the future.”
Emilia Sykes proudly represents Ohio’s 34th House District. She grew up in Akron, Ohio as the daughter of two elected officials. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kent State University and received a Juris Doctor with a certificate in family law and a master of public health from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and the College of Public Health and Health Professions, respectively. Emilia currently serves as House minority leader of the Ohio House of Representatives.
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 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. Previous Rising Star Award recipients include former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in 2014, former Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley in 2015, former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran in 2016, Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym in 2017, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in 2018, and California Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo in 2019.
EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $600 million to elect pro-choice Democratic women candidates. With a grassroots community of over five million members, EMILY's List helps Democratic women win competitive campaigns – across the country and up and down the ballot – by recruiting and training candidates, supporting strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect 150 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 16 governors, and nearly 1,100 women to state and local office. Nearly 40 percent of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. During the historic 2017-2018 cycle, EMILYs List raised a record-breaking $110 million and launched a record independent expenditure campaign. We helped elect 34 new women to the House, including 24 red-to-blue victories; enough seats to have delivered the U.S. House majority alone. Since the 2016 election, more than 55,000 women have reached out to EMILY's List about running for office laying the groundwork for the next decade of candidates for local, state, and national offices.