EMILYs List Awards 2023 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award to Florida State Rep. and House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell

April 12, 2023


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced that Florida state Rep. and House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell is the winner of the 10th annual Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. EMILYs List President Laphonza Butler released the following statement:  

“During a time when Florida Republicans have done everything in their power to roll back our fundamental freedoms, Leader Fentrice Driskell has been a staunch defender of civil and reproductive rights – and her thoughtful and dedicated leadership is why we are proud to award her the Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. From fighting for common sense gun reform to addressing climate change and working to increase access to affordable housing, Leader Driskell has been on the forefront of the battle for meaningful change. EMILYs List is honored to award her this year’s Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award because we know that as her future in public service unfolds, she will continue to lead with grace and determination, shining a light for future generations of inspiring women legislators to come.”

In 2022, Rep. Fentrice Driskell became the first Black woman minority leader in the history of the Florida House of Representatives. She has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, where she was the first Black student elected as student government president, and a J.D. from Georgetown University. Leader Driskell is a practicing attorney and is currently serving her third term in the Florida House, where she is a champion for reproductive freedom, public education, and voting rights. Leader Driskell was first endorsed by EMILYs List in 2018.

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, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley in 2015; former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran in 2016; former Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym in 2017; Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in 2018; California Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo in 2019; former Ohio House Minority Leader, U.S. Rep. Emilia Sykes in 2020; Harris County, Texas Judge Lina Hidalgo in 2021; and former Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen in 2022.

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, works to elect Democratic pro-choice women up and down the ballot and across the country with a goal of fighting for our rights and our communities. Our work is centered around a fundamental vision: Run. Win. Change the World. EMILYs List has raised $850 million in service to that vision and has helped Democratic women win competitive elections by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running one of the largest independent expenditure operations for Democrats, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country’s first woman as vice president, 175 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 20 governors, and over 1,500 women to state and local office. More than 40% of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Visit www.emilyslist.org for more information.