The recipients of the 2009 Wilton Peace Prize will be California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. Established by Henry and Irene Wilton in 1984, the Wilton Peace Prize is given by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in recognition of individuals or groups who have supported “peace and human progress.” Ritchie and Bowen, both Unitarian Universalists, were selected for their promotion of voter registration and fair elections.
The prize will be presented by Rev. Meg Riley, UUA director of advocacy and witness, and Rev. Lindi Ramsden, executive director of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California, on the afternoon of Friday, June 26th, in Hall E of the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, UT. The awarding of the prize will take place during the Unitarian Universalist Association’s 2009 General Assembly.
“The violence in Iran makes it evident how closely related democratic elections are to the presence of peace,” stated Riley. “Mark Ritchie embodies a commitment to open, accessible elections which has strengthened his state and our nation. We are proud that he is a Unitarian Universalist.”
“Debra Bowen is one of the smartest, most principled, and most pioneering public servants in California,” said Ramsden. “She oversaw the top-to-bottom review of California’s electronic voting equipment and refused to allow private interests to circumvent the rights of voters to a secure and transparent election.”
For more information about Bowen and Ritchie, please see this month’s UU World article, “UU secretaries of state stress importance of voting.”
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Director of Public Relations, Unitarian Universalist Association
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