Sen. Karen Peterson to Receive John Gardner Lifetime Achievement Award from Common Cause Delaware

Posted on September 22, 2016

Common Cause Delaware is pleased to announce that the 2016 John Gardner Lifetime Achievement award goes to Sen. Karen Peterson with gratitude for her lifetime of public service and her strong support for the democracy reform agenda in Delaware – where she supported voting rights, increased transparency, independent redistricting reform, and legal equality for all, among other things.

“Throughout Sen. Peterson’s career in elective office – in the General Assembly and before that on the New Castle County Council – she has never wavered in her commitment to equality, civil liberties, social justice and fairness,” says Jan Konesey, Chair of the Common Cause Delaware Governing Board. “Her voice has always been heard speaking out for those who need a champion.”

Sen. Peterson exemplifies the values espoused by John Gardner, the organization’s founder. "John Gardner founded Common Cause in the early 1970s so the people, not just large organizations and vested interests, would have a representative in Washington,” says Dr. Jeff Raffel, a former Chair of Common Cause Delaware. “Karen Peterson has been the people's representative in New Castle County and then Dover for decades. She has fought for her constituents, for civil rights, workers' rights, equality, and transparency in government, never afraid to take on vested interests in the General Assembly and beyond. Senator Peterson has been the people's advocate that Common Cause's John Gardner had envisioned 45 years ago."

Senate Pro Tempore Patricia Blevins also offers high praise for Sen. Peterson, who retired this year after serving almost 15 years in the state senate: "Karen Peterson has been a transcendent leader for our state, not only because of the barriers she's broken herself, but because of the barriers she's broken for others during her 14 years in the Senate. From marriage equality to criminal justice reform to advocating for Delaware's workers, she leaves public service as perhaps the most accomplished progressive our state has ever seen. The Senate, and indeed all of Delaware, will miss her unique perspective and breadth of knowledge, and I'll personally miss her friendship and good humor."

Sen. Peterson will receive the award at a cocktail reception at Bella Vita at the Cavaliers Country Club in Newark on November 17, 2016, beginning at 5pm. Tickets are $45. RSVP Here. For more information, please contact Claire Snyder-Hall, Program Director at 302-604-1389 or

Office: Common Cause Delaware , Common Cause National

Issues: More Democracy Reforms, Democracy Agenda

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