Senator Schumer “New Yorker of the Year” – Norah O’Donnell “Broadcaster of the Year”

Senator Charles Schumer, has been selected as our “2014 New Yorker of the Year”. The senior senator from New York is one of the key leaders in the United States Senate. Not only does he have nation-wide influence, but he has worked tirelessly for the people of New York State. Senator Schumer has been a strong voice helping to protect the coverage areas of NY television stations during the incentive auction process. He has also recognized the importance of retransmission consent to the television industry.

Over the past three decades in public service, U.S. Senator Charles “Chuck” Ellis Schumer has built a reputation as a leader in finding common-sense solutions to national issues and as a tireless fighter for New York.

Chuck was born in Brooklyn, NY on November 23, 1950 to parents Selma, a homemaker active in the community, and Abe, who owned a small exterminating business. Chuck grew up the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood and with his siblings, Fran and Robert, attended PS 197 and Madison High School. Chuck has two daughters, Jessica and Alison, and he still resides in Brooklyn with his wife, Iris Weinshall.

After graduating from Harvard College and Harvard Law School in 1974, Chuck returned home and ran for the New York State Assembly, becoming, at 23, the youngest member of the State Legislature since Theodore Roosevelt. He soon made his mark with his trademark vigor and tireless advocacy. In 1980, at 29, Chuck ran for and won the seat in the 9th Congressional District.

Chuck represented the 9th CD in Brooklyn and Queens for eighteen years, where he established his reputation as a pioneer in the fight against crime and as a consumer advocate. Chuck authored the Omnibus Crime Bill, which put 100,000 new cops on the street. He was the leading sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act, to combat domestic violence and sexual assault, and the Brady Bill, which instituted mandatory background checks for handgun purchases. He co-wrote the Assault Weapons Ban, and sponsored the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which organized data on crimes of bigotry and allowed federal authorities to prosecute these crimes. He also sponsored legislation that required banks and credit card companies to provide greater disclosure to consumers.

In 1998, Chuck was elected to the U.S. Senate; he became New York’s senior senator when Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan retired in 2000. Chuck kicked off his first Senate term by announcing he would visit each of New York’s 62 counties every year, a tradition he continues today. Doing so has enabled Chuck to keep in touch with voters from every corner of the state.

Throughout his time in the Senate, Chuck has made improving New York’s economy his top priority, bringing affordable air service to Upstate New York and the Hudson Valley and delivering over $20 billion in aid to New York City following the attacks on September 11, 2001. Chuck was the author of legislation that eliminated barriers that delay low-cost generic medications from entering the marketplace and led the charge to make college tuition tax deductible. He also aggressively championed agricultural measures to preserve vital market support programs for New York’s dairy farmers and crop growers.

After New Yorkers re-elected him in 2004, Chuck was awarded two powerful posts by his colleagues. The first, a seat on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees the nation’s tax, trade, social security and health care legislation. The second honor was the Chairmanship of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Chuck successfully led the DSCC for two consecutive cycles before stepping down at the end of 2008.

Following the elections of 2006, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) appointed Chuck to serve as Vice Chair of the Democratic Conference, the number three position on the Democratic Leadership team and a position he continues to hold. In 2009, Chuck was selected as the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, which oversees federal elections, voting rights, campaign finance, and the operation of the Senate complex. After New Yorkers re-elected him for a third term in 2010, Chuck took on an expanded role in the Senate as Chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Center.

Chuck also sits on the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; the Judiciary Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security; and the Joint Committee on the Library.

Senator Schumer will receive his award at our Gala Awards Dinner on June 12, 2014 at the Waldorf Astoria.

We are delighted to announce that Norah O’Donnell will receive the Broadcaster of the Year Award at our Gala Awards Dinner on June 12, 2014.  The dinner will be held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and will kick off our Summer Conference.

Norah O’Donnell is co-host of CBS This Morning, a position she has held since July 2012. Since joining CBS News, O’Donnell has traveled the globe on assignment covering major stories, including the historic election of Pope Francis in Vatican City, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Newtown massacre and others. She also covered the 2012 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, as well as the election of President Barack Obama. In March 2013, O’Donnell interviewed Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, global technology and business leader, in her debut piece for the acclaimed CBS program 60 Minutes. O’Donnell also interviewed the Dalai Lama, Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Pakistani girls’ education advocate Malala Yousafzai.

O’Donnell joined CBS News in June 2011 as the network’s Chief White House Correspondent, where she conducted interviews with a who’s who of political power players. Norah currently serves as the primary substitute anchor for Face the Nation, fill-in anchor for the CBS Evening News, and reports across all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. In these roles, O’Donnell has earned a reputation as a journalist who asks tough but fair questions.

As CBS News’ Chief White House Correspondent, O’Donnell traveled extensively with President Barack Obama and conducted news-making interviews with U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner; Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.); Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio); former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, among others.

Prior to joining CBS News, O’Donnell was the Chief Washington Correspondent for MSNBC and a contributing correspondent for NBC News’ TODAY and Weekend TODAY. O’Donnell joined NBC News in 1999. Prior to that, she was a staff reporter for the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, and worked as a contributor and analyst for MSNBC. During her extensive journalism career, O’Donnell has reported on the 2012 and 2008 presidential elections, the 2004 presidential campaign of President George W. Bush and the 2000 presidential campaigns of John McCain and George W. Bush.

An Emmy Award-winning journalist, O’Donnell was also part of the CBS News team that received an Alfred I. duPont Award for the network’s coverage of the Newtown massacre. O’Donnell’s work has also earned a prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Breaking News Coverage on September 11, 2011.

A firm believer in empowering women, O’Donnell sits on the Board of Directors for the International Women’s Media Foundation. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy as well as a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. She is married to Geoff Tracy, a restaurateur in Washington, D.C. They have three children, Henry, Grace and Riley, and co-authored a best-selling cookbook, “Baby Love,” in 2010.

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