2023 Recipient Congressman Jamie Raskin
It’s not my ambition to be in the political center, which blows around with the wind. It's my ambition to be in the moral center.
At TruCon 2023, the Truman Center was proud to present its Award for Exceptional Moral Courage in Public Service to the Honorable Jamie Raskin. The award is given each year to a public servant whose values have led them to do what’s right, even when doing so may have posed personal risk. Representative Raskin, who represents Maryland's Eighth Congressional District and leads Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, has had a distinguished career in both academia and government.
As the Lead House Manager in the second Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump and a key member of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, Rep. Raskin has defended American democracy during challenging times for the nation. In a statement issued prior to the event, Truman’s President & CEO, Jenna Ben-Yehuda, explained, “Congressman Raskin’s career has been defined by a principled defense of American democracy, especially in moments of enormous challenge for our nation. His remarkable work aligns closely with Truman’s values and our strategic priority to fortify the domestic foundations of America’s global strength.”
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and recipient of the 2022 Award for Exceptional Moral Courage in Public Service, introduced Rep. Raskin and presented him with the award. In her introduction, the ambassador traced Rep. Raskin’s illustrious career from professor of constitutional law at American University to Maryland State Senator to Congress. Even after enduring tremendous personal loss, Amb. Thomas-Greenfield said, Rep. Raskin continued to go above and beyond in fulfilling his duties to his country and constituents.
Rep. Raskin’s acceptance speech discussed his views on moral courage, the progressive momentum of America’s democracy, and the necessity of optimism and dedication to overcome the greatest historical challenges. “In politics, nothing’s impossible, nothing is inevitable,” he said. “Everything is just possible through the democratic arts of education and organizing and mobilizing people for change.”
Truman President & CEO Jenna Ben-Yehuda led a short question-and-answer session after the speech. In response to audience questions about preventing another January 6th, Rep. Raskin expressed a high level of optimism about the country’s future. Convictions of insurrectionists and increasing momentum for defending democracy, he said, give him hope that there will not be another January 6th anytime soon. Rep. Raskin made the case that youth are shedding the entrenched racism and antisemitism that have weighed down American progress, and that demonstrates the inevitability of progress towards an evermore improving democracy.