For Immediate Release Common Cause New York Hosts 40th Anniversary Awards Dinner

Written by 917-670-5670 on November 30, 2010


For Immediate Release:

Contact: Susan Lerner

November 30, 2010

917-670-5670

Common Cause New York Hosts 40th Anniversary Awards Dinner

Organization Honors NYS Lt. Governor Ravitch, Council of Urban Professionals for Commitment to Public Service and Developing Diverse Leaders of Tomorrow

Common Cause New York will host its 40th anniversary awards dinner tonight, highlighting the importance of civic engagement to the vibrancy of our democracy. Common Cause will honor New York Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch and the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) for their commitment to public service and to developing diverse leaders of tomorrow.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest at the national, state and local levels.

"For 40 years, Common Cause New York has dedicated itself to the citizens of New York, ensuring that every voice, big or small, is heard," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause New York. "Tonight, we are proud to honor the accomplishments of Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch and the Council of Urban Professionals as they embody our mission and work tirelessly on behalf of all New Yorkers."

Richard Ravitch is receiving the John Gardner Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to public service. Some of his accomplishments include resolving New York City's default crisis; reorganizing the MTA, recruiting private sector operating officials and developing a long-term capital plan and budget for a system-wide upgrade; and more recently, working with the New York State Legislature to get the budget passed. Mortimer B. Zuckerman, Chairman and Publisher of the New York Daily News, and Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of U.S. News and World Report, will present the award. Paul A. Volcker, Chairman of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, will serve as the evening's introductory speaker.

CUP, a nonprofit that advances the social, political, and economic interests of minorities and women, is receiving the Common Cause Democracy in Action Award for its efforts to engage and develop diverse future business and civic leaders, strengthen our communities and increase business opportunities for minorities and women. Hakeem Jeffries, Assembly Member, NY 57th A.D., will present the award to Chloe Drew, the executive director of CUP, and to be named board member.

"Being recognized by Common Cause New York for our work empowering minorities and women to become future leaders is truly an honor," said Chloe Drew, executive director of CUP. "Common Cause New York's work enfranchising New Yorkers has not only encouraged residents to become active citizens, but also paved the way for organizations like CUP to help others find their voice and become the leaders of tomorrow."

Common Cause New York is at the forefront of the movement for independent redistricting, campaign finance reform and honest, inclusive and verifiable elections. Common Cause was instrumental in creating New York City's successful public campaign financing system and in exposing the influence of money on Albany politics.

Most recently, Common Cause New York was a leader in the successful effort to end prison-based gerrymandering in New York State, in exposing the influence of corporate lobbyists on State Legislators to approve a potentially hazardous method of natural gas extraction in New York's Marcellus Shale, and in assembling a Citizens' Redistricting Commission to draw up models for fair, non-politicized Federal and State voting districts in order to pressure the legislature into acting properly.

About Common Cause New York:

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest. Now with nearly 400,000 members and supporters and 36 state organizations, Common Cause remains committed to honest, open and accountable government, as well as encouraging citizen participation in democracy.

Common Cause New York is the citizens' lobbyist and we speak up for clean elections and ethical standards for our elected officials. We stand up for responsive government. For years, we've provided a clear, strong voice for you and the citizens of New York. CCNY is a leading force in the battle for honest and accountable government. In the past three decades, by fighting together we have enacted real change and will continue to do so in New York and nationally.

About the Council of Urban Professionals:

The Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization whose members are leading minority and women professionals in finance, law, business, real estate, media and entertainment. CUP's mission is to develop diverse business and civic leaders, empowering them to exert their influence, achieve their individual goals, and create collective impact. More information is available at www.nycup.org.

Office: Common Cause New York

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

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