Public Servant Awards

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 6.20.34 PMTed W. Lieu

United States House of Representatives
California‘s 33rd Congressional District

In 2014, Ted W. Lieu was elected to California’s 33rd Congressional District, succeeding retiring 40-year incumbent Henry Waxman. Ted was elected president of the Democratic Freshman class by his colleagues and serves on the House Budget Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Ted is a former active duty officer in the US Air Force and currently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Reserves. The Air Force recently selected Ted for promotion to Colonel. In Congress, Ted has established himself as a leader on protecting the environment; Social Security and Medicare; civil liberties; and veterans.

He has been an outspoken proponent for tackling climate change. The first bill Ted wrote and introduced after coming to Congress was the Climate Solutions Act, which aims to make California’s ground-breaking renewable energy goals and climate emissions reduction targets a national model.

As one of only four computer science majors currently serving in Congress, and as a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Information Technology, Ted is frequently sought out for his insight on technology and innovation matters including cybersecurity, cloud computing and innovation as well as the sharing and creative economy.

Ted has been a leader in Congress against ethnic and racial profiling, and discrimination against the LGBT community. He serves as Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus task force on armed services and veterans, Co-Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, and Co-Chair of the Cloud Computing Caucus. In just his first year in Congress, Ted successfully passed three laws. He successfully fought for $35 million in funding to the West Los Angeles VA for essential seismic retrofits; reauthorized the Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; and restored the Quarterly Financial Report, one of our nation’s principal economic indicators used by both businesses and the public sector.

Prior to serving in Congress, Ted was elected to the California State Senate in 2011 and the State Assembly in 2005. Ted’s legislative accomplishments include authoring landmark legislation regulating the subprime mortgage industry; a first-in-the-nation ban on gay conversion therapy for children; and a first-in-the-nation ban on the use of tanning beds for minors. Ted fought for California state tax reform that saved small businesses from millions in retroactive taxes, and tax incentives for film and TV production. Ted also co-authored California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act and co-authored the law banning state pension funds from investing in Iran’s nuclear and energy industries. Ted started his elected service as a Member of the Torrance City Council in 2002. Prior to serving on the Council, Ted was a Torrance Environmental Quality Commissioner.

Looking for a better life and opportunity, Ted and his family immigrated to the United States when he was three years old. His parents went to flea markets and sold gifts and jewelry to make ends meet. Ted’s family went from being poor and not speaking English well to opening up a gift store where Ted and his brother would help out in the family business. After many years of perseverance his parents were eventually able to expand to six stores. With the support of hard-working parents and a country that provided limitless opportunity, Ted would go on to attend Stanford for his undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Political Science, and then Georgetown University, where he received his law degree magna cum laude after serving as Editor-in-Chief of the law review. Ted also received four American Jurisprudence Awards.

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 6.20.42 PMGrace Meng
United States House of Representatives
New York’s 6th Congressional District

U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng is serving her second term in the United States House of Representatives. Grace represents the Sixth Congressional District of New York encompassing the New York City borough of Queens, including west, central and northeast Queens. Grace is the first Asian-American Member of Congress from New York State, and the only Congressmember of Asian descent in the entire Northeast. She is also the first female Member of Congress from Queens since former Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.

Grace is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its Subcommittees on the Middle East and

North Africa, and Asia and the Pacific. The Foreign Affairs Committee oversees United States foreign policy towards all nations around the world, and has jurisdiction over foreign aid, the State Department and key international organizations such as the United Nations. Grace also serves on the House Small Business Committee where she is the Ranking Member of the Agriculture, Energy and Trade Subcommittee. The Small Business Committee, which was established to protect and assist small-business owners, has oversight of financial aid, regulatory matters and the Small Business Administration (SBA), issues critical to Queens and New York City since small businesses are the economic engine of the region. Grace is also an Assistant Whip in the House and a founder and Co-Chair of the Kids’ Safety Caucus, the first bipartisan coalition in the House that promotes child-safety issues. She helped create and serves as Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus which works to mitigate excessive aircraft noise that adversely affects communities.

During her first term in the House, Grace scored several legislative victories, a significant accomplishment for a new Member of Congress. In fact, she was one of just 12 Democrats – out of all 207 – who passed three or more bills, placing her in the top six percent. Her bill to make the desecration of cemeteries a violation of religious freedom was signed into law by President Obama, as was her legislation to study the viability of making Queens historic sites part of the National Parks Service. Also signed into law were her measures that aim to enhance the safety of school buses, improve the performance of child car seats and protect the privacy of motorists in driverless vehicles.

Her first major legislative effort, to allow federal disaster funds to be used for rebuilding houses of worship damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, passed the House just six weeks after she was sworn in as a Member of Congress. She also secured House passage of several other important measures she authored including a bill to reduce the massive backlog of veterans’ disability claims; legislation, in the wake of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that seeks to better protect American diplomats serving overseas; a measure that aims to create college financial-aid applications in languages spoken by Queens residents; legislation to hold accountable those countries that facilitate Hezbollah and legislation to crack down on con artists and devious telemarketers who use phone scams to rip off millions of Americans, particularly seniors and those from immigrant communities. In addition, Grace helped obtain increased funding for Israel’s missile defense systems; acquired additional small-business resources for Queens; and persuaded the State Department to acknowledge and remedy the widespread denial of tourist visas to young Israelis. Further, she helped convince the Small Business Administration (SBA) to improve entrepreneurs’ access to capital and her efforts led to New York City’s new school holiday for Lunar New Year. She was also instrumental in securing noise monitors and establishing a community roundtable to address increased airplane noise over Queens.