Jeannette Rankin Award finalists announced

Deborah Shelton received the award in 2011. (Photo courtesy LWVAV)

Deborah Shelton received the award in 2011. (Photo courtesy LWVAV)

PALMDALE – The League of Women Voters Antelope Valley has announced the finalists for its annual Jeannette Rankin Award.

“We have an outstanding field of finalists that reflect the growing public involvement of people in our valley,” said Terry Van Hook, Award Selection Committee Chair.  “All of these candidates are worthy of our recognition for their drive, commitment, love and dedication.  They truly embody the Jeannette Rankin ideal of helping those around them in ways that lead to long term change.”

The nominees in alphabetical order are:

Judy Cooperberg, Executive Director of Antelope Valley Services for Mental Health America of Los Angeles;

Makeda Dilworth, Editor-in-chief and publisher of The AV Times;

Veronica Fields, Chief Operating Officer at Simac, LLC;

Vivian Komori, President of Komori Connections, Inc.;

Barbara Little, retired civic leader;

Diana Love, Representative for Assembly member Steve Fox;

Daa Mahowald, Professional Chess Teacher and community organizer; and

John Perry, founder Human Productivity Systems; retired NASA engineer.

“The men and women who are nominated clearly work with others to mobilize our communities for beneficial change. They are people who have overcome obstacles in their effort to make a difference. They are pioneers in the same sense of civic involvement that Jeannette Rankin was in her day,” LWVAV officials said in a statement announcing the nominees.

In 1916, Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress at the age of 38.  She was from Missoula, Montana and had worked tirelessly for the right of women to vote and for child protection laws.  Her example has inspired women and men ever since to get involved and affect change in their communities.

The 2013 winner of the “Jeannette Rankin Award”  will be announced at the annual LWVAV Election luncheon meeting at 11 a.m., Thursday, August 22 at the Holiday Inn,  located at 38630 5th Street West in Palmdale. The annual luncheon is open to the public.  The cost of the luncheon is $20 per person.

The League of Women Voters is a national organization dedicated to improving our systems of government; it is the organization where leaders volunteer to make democracy work.

For more information, contact Terry Van Hook at 661-206-8532 or visit