• Press Release

EMILYs List Awards 2024 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award to Michigan State Sen. Sarah Anthony

April 2, 2024


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced that Michigan state Sen. Sarah Anthony is the winner of the 11th annual Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. EMILYs List President Jessica Mackler released the following statement:

“State Sen. Sarah Anthony is a shining example of the undeniable power of Democratic pro-choice women who run, win, and change the world. She is a groundbreaking champion for women in Michigan and beyond, and she has been a staunch defender of democracy, reproductive freedom, quality education, and working families. Sen. Anthony represents all of the tenacity and civility that the Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award stands for. We are thrilled to honor her with this year’s award because we know that her future is bright. No matter where she goes, Anthony will always fight for our rights with grace and determination, serving as an inspiration for the entire EMILYs List community and for generations of powerful women legislators to come.”

Sarah Anthony is a Michigan state senator who ran for office to fight for equity and opportunity for all Michiganders. Anthony is a native of Michigan’s capital city who graduated from Lansing Public Schools and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from public Michigan universities. She returned to her hometown to work on various progressive campaigns, serving as a community organizer and eventually as a legislative staffer in the Michigan Legislature. She has been a groundbreaker throughout her career, becoming the youngest Black woman to serve on a county commission in the United States, the first Black woman to serve as mid-Michigan’s state representative and state senator, and the first Black woman to lead the powerful state Senate Appropriations Committee. She is known as a fierce advocate for women and girls, leading legislation to end child marriage in Michigan and codify rights for reproductive health care, as well as passing the Michigan CROWN Act, which ends hair discrimination in the Great Lakes State. Anthony was endorsed by EMILYs List in 2018 and 2022.

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; former Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen in 2022; and Florida House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell in 2023.

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.