PFS Award Nominees

Learn about the nominees for our 2020 Alumni Awards!


Honoring an outstanding candidate who continues to successfully fight for progressive policies in office or in their community.

Gina Calanni, Texas State Representative House, District 132

  • Ran for office as a single, working mom to address massive cuts to public education funding – became the first woman to represent her district
  • Passed eleven bills in her first session, the most of any Democratic freshman, including to reduce backlog of untested sexual assault evidence
  • Co-authored school finance reform bill to give teachers and school staff a much-needed pay raise and reduce property taxes for TX families


Dotie Joseph, Florida State Representative House, District 108

  • Passed a bill to permit survivors of domestic violence to qualify for unemployment compensation if they are forced to leave their job
  • Advocating for the Equal Rights Amendment, common sense gun reform, paid family leave, affordable housing, and more
  • Hosted district events, including providing fresh foods for almost 1,000 people, holding workshops around economic development and small business support

James Talarico, Texas State Representative, House District 52

  • Youngest statewide official in TX and one of only three educators in the Legislature
  • Helped write historic school finance reform legislation, providing TX schools with $11.6 billion in new funding
  • Championing early childhood education, disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, restorative justice practices, and more


Jen Devor, ran for Philadelphia, PA City Commissioner

  • Ran to oversee voter engagement and elections, brought more visibility and accountability to this office
  • Has advocated for new voting machines, appearing in local media, speaking at rallies, writing op-eds, and organizing her community
  • Now running a new Civic Impact Incubator program to support community ventures and social enterprises advancing innovative solutions to complex civic challenges in Philadelphia

I AM History

Honoring a history-making candidate who broke barriers and shattered ceilings.


Brianna Titone, Colorado State Representative, House District 27

  • Elected in 2018 as the first transgender person elected to Colorado’s state government; one of only four transgender elected officials at the state level in the U.S.
  • Won by 439 votes in a district the previous Democratic candidate lost by 13%
  • Co-sponsored bills on cancer treatment, free menstrual hygiene products, prohibiting conversion therapy, identity documents for transgender persons, and more

Hadiya Afzal, candidate for DuPage County Board, District 4

  • Campaigned as an 18-year-old, Pakistani-American Muslim college student in a district that had never elected a Democrat before
  • Progressive platform called for a local response to the climate crisis and tackling the suburban opioid epidemic
  • Decided to run after noticing that her county’s 18-person board only had one democrat, no women of color, and no one under the age of 30

*Hadiya is currently an RFS candidate running for the same position in 2020!

Rachel Junck, Ames, Iowa City Councilmember, Ward 4

  • Ran as a lifelong resident and 20-year-old ISU student; students make up half the population in her hometown, but weren’t represented on the city council
  • Her campaign knocked every student apartment door in the ward three times each! 37% of voters in her election were under the age of 30, up from 9% in the previous election
  • Unseated a two-term incumbent, became the second-youngest woman ever elected in Iowa

Safiya Khalid, Lewiston, Maine City Councilmember, Ward 1

  • Elected to the City Council in 2019 as the youngest person ever elected to serve on the city council in Lewiston
  • First Somali-American elected to the Lewiston City Council, in a city with a large refugee Somali population
  • Came to Lewiston as a refugee more than a decade ago; became an American citizen at age 14