Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is once again in the national spotlight. Not long after landing on Time Magazine’s 2021 Time100 Next list, the judge has been named a recipient of this year’s John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards.
The late President Kennedy’s grandson, Jack Schlossberg, announced Hidalgo as the recipient of the award. Yeshimabeit Milner, who founded Data for Black Lives, is the other winner.
Each year, the awards recognize two Americans under age 40 who are “changing their communities and the country with their commitment to public service,” the official site describes. Winners serve as full-time public servants in elective office, community service, or advocacy.
“In one of the largest counties in America, Judge Hidalgo has already brought change and progress, boldly leading through the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing important health measures before they were popular, or even acceptable,” Schlossberg noted in a statement.
Hidalgo was further praised for championing equal voting in Harris County, expanding protections for the LGBTQ+ community, reforming the cash bail system, and organized new flood control policies in the wake of climate change increasing flood risks.
“It’s an honor to join the company of so many leaders I admire from all walks of public service,” said Hidalgo in a press release. “I ran for office because I believed in the same ideals of President Kennedy’s vision for America — the audacity to believe in and advocate for a government that is smarter and more compassionate than people ever thought possible. That’s the kind of ethos we should aspire to as a nation, and what I’ll work to continue bringing to Harris County as we build a community that is stronger, more prosperous, and a place where everyone can thrive.”
Meanwhile, Schlossberg praised Milner’s “lifelong commitment to social change is bringing political organizing into the 21st century, using technology and data to fight racial bias and discrimination.”