The annual Maria Leavey Tribute Award is presented at Take Back America to honor an unsung hero of the progressive movement whose behind-
the-scenes work and selfless service made a big contribution to social justice.
The award commemorates the life and selfless service of Maria Leavey — the quintessential unsung progressive hero. An organizer with extraordinary talent. A behind-the-scenes force with an uncanny ability to connect rising young talent with Washington leaders. A tireless advocate who often worked without claiming credit or even compensation.
Sadly, after years of selfless service to our progressive movement, Maria passed away on December 31, 2006, at the all-too-young age of 52.
We continue to commemorate Maria's life and spirit, and honor the legacy that she left behind by recognizing other unsung progressive heroes who follow in her footsteps. We cannot have enough Americans striving to be like Maria.
Maria never held a staff position with a major organization or media outlet. Still, while working out of her small apartment with an outdated computer, she managed to build contacts at the highest ranks of Washington's political circles and champion the growth of progressive media, from the burgeoning ranks of progressive radio to the emerging blogosphere.
Maria helped assemble the Campaign for America's Future's historic Progressive Media Row at the Take Back America conference. She was a passionate progressive who understood the importance of talent, humor, a good conversation and a warm meal.
Please join us and help to honor Maria's memory, cherish the work of those tireless organizers who are still with us, and light a fire under the rest of us.