Spotlight on Humphrey Honoree: Sen. Tom Harkin

Categories: About, News

On May 15, the civil and human rights community will honor Sen. Tom Harkin with its highest honor, the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award, for his lifelong commitment to equality and equal opportunity.

Throughout 10 years in the House of Representatives, three decades in the Senate, and in his current role as chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, he has been a steadfast champion for civil and human rights. He was the principal sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which has become known as the “Emancipation Proclamation for people with disabilities.”

Harkin is a strong voice for workers’ rights, has worked to protect the middle class and those at the bottom of the economic ladder, promoted access to quality education for all children and quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

He’s also the lead sponsor of legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10, a bill that was filibustered this week, but which Senate democrats have vowed to keep bringing up until it’s passed. As the Huffington Post recently quipped, Harkin is asking for one final raise – for America’s lowest-paid workers – before he retires this year.

Visit our Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner page for more information about tickets, sponsorship, and our two other nominees – labor organizer and immigrant rights advocate Eliseo Medina and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.