The recipients of this year’s Demand A Seat Lawmaker of the Year award were announced at our annual training summit, Gun Sense University. This award celebrates the leadership of volunteers who have taken their advocacy to the next level by running for office and becoming champions for life-saving gun safety policies.
This year, all of our volunteers-turned-lawmakers in Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota were named Demand A Seat Lawmakers of the Year. Because of their leadership, we have changed the political calculus on gun safety in these states, making gun safety a winning issue for candidates and clearing the path for major legislative wins this year. In fact, 2023 was one of the most successful state legislative cycles since our founding over ten years ago.
Join us in congratulating the following recipients of the 2023 Demand a Seat Lawmaker of the Year award!
Following a historic midterm election cycle where 18 Illinois Moms Demand Action volunteers running for office up and down the ballot won, Illinois is paving the way and leading on gun safety. Volunteers elected include Nabeela Syed, a Muslim, Indian American woman who flipped a GOP-held district and is the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly, and the re-election of State Representative Maura Hirschauer, who has been a champion for gun safety in the Illinois General Assembly since she was first elected. Moms Demand Action volunteers-turned-elected-officials have gone from advocating for gun safety to legislating on it – not only voting on behalf of gun safety policies, but leading the way on their creation and passage.
This year’s Illinois Demand a Seat Lawmakers of the Year are:
- State Senator Suzy Glowiak, SD-023
- State Representative Jonathan Carroll, HD-057
- State Representative Laura Faver Dias, HD-062
- State Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, HD-017
- State Representative Maura Hirschauer, HD-049
- State Representative Joyce Mason, HD-061
- State Representative Bob Morgan, HD-058
- State Representative Anne Stava-Murray, HD-081
- State Representative Nabeela Syed, HD-051
- Elgin Mayor David Kaptain
- Champaign County Board Member Elly Hanauer-Friedman, District 4
- Champaign County Board Member Jenny Lokshin, District 4
- Audubon Local School Council Member (Chicago Public Schools) Jennifer Zechlin
- Tilden High School Local School Council Member (Chicago Public Schools) Valerie Simutis
- DuPage County Board Member Yeena Yoo, District 2
- Lake County Board Member Jessica Vealitzek, District 10
- Lake County Board Member Sara Knizhnik, District 18
- Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg
Last year, four of our volunteers were elected to the Minnesota Senate, flipping the chamber to a gun sense majority and paving the way for critical gun safety legislation to pass. This year, our volunteers in both the Minnesota House and Senate helped pass a historic gun safety package, and Governor Tim Walz signed it into law!
These new laws closed a dangerous gap in Minnesota’s background check law, created an Extreme Risk law to limit firearm access by individuals in crisis, expanded access to community violence intervention funding, and restricted the use of no knock search warrants.
This year’s Minnesota Demand a Seat Lawmakers of the Year are:
- State Senator Liz Boldon, SD-025
- State Senator Erin Maye Quade, SD-056
- State Senator Lindsey Port, SD-055
- State Senator Bonnie Westlin, SD-042
- State Representative Heather Edelson, HD-50A
- State Representative Mary Frances Clardy, HD-53A
Because Michigan lawmakers previously refused to address gun violence, last year, our volunteers worked tirelessly to elect a gun sense trifecta in the state, including electing nine of our own volunteers to secure the state legislature. Then, in the wake of a horrific shooting at Michigan State University earlier this year, our volunteers joined students, survivors, and people across Michigan in relentlessly demanding action from lawmakers.
The result: Three gun safety bills were signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer requiring the secure storage of guns in homes where children are present, background checks for all unlicensed gun sales in the state and an Extreme Risk law that empowers loved ones or law enforcement to intervene and temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing firearms.
This year’s Michigan Demand a Seat Lawmakers of the Year are:
- State Senator Mallory McMorrow, SD-008
- State Senator Paul Wojno, SD-010
- State Representative Kelly Breen, HD-021
- State Representative Brenda Carter, HD-053
- State Representative Ranjeev Puri, HD-024
- State Representative Lori Stone, HD-013
- District Court Judge Lisa Babcock, District 54B
- Northville School Board Member Carin Meyer
- Northville School Board Member Melissa Stuart