Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Lorella Praeli Given the First-Ever John D. Podesta Progressive Champion Award
Press Release

RELEASE: Lorella Praeli Given the First-Ever John D. Podesta Progressive Champion Award

Washington, D.C. — Lorella Praeli will be given the first-ever John D. Podesta Progressive Champion Award, the Center for American Progress announced today.

The John D. Podesta Progressive Champion Award will be given annually by the Center for American Progress to a change-maker in the progressive movement, who through their creative, collaborative, and resolute work is paving the way and writing the rules for progressive policymakers and advocates. Award recipients will be trusted voices, powerful commentators, and leading visionaries for building a stronger, safer, more inclusive, and healthier America.

Praeli is the co-president of Community Change and Community Change Action. Previously, she was deputy national political director at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and national Latino vote director on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Praeli led the campaign to implement Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals as United We Dream’s director of Advocacy and Policy and co-chaired the most recent national campaign for citizenship in 2021.

Praeli came to the United States with her family at age 10 from Peru. She has made it her life’s work to build collective power to win transformative policy change at all levels of government. At Community Change and Community Change Action, Praeli co-leads the visionary work of an organization founded in 1968 by leaders of the civil rights, labor, and anti-poverty movements that is dedicated to building the power of low-income people, especially low-income people of color. She advocates on a wide range of racial and economic justice issues, including a permanent child tax credit, a care economy, a guaranteed income, and protections for undocumented immigrants. She is a board member of the national ACLU, the Edward W. Hazen Foundation,, Roosevelt Forward, and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. She is also a member of the inaugural U.S. Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity.

John Podesta, a trailblazer in the world of American politics, established the Center for American Progress in October 2003, after serving as White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. Following the 2008 election, John stepped into the role of co-chair for President Barack Obama’s transition team. He then served as counselor to President Obama, orchestrating the administration’s ambitious climate policy and other groundbreaking initiatives. John was later selected as a distinguished member of the U.N. Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In 2016, he chaired Hillary Clinton’s historic campaign for president. Today, John is senior adviser to President Joe Biden, serving as a leader of the nation’s clean energy innovation and implementation. An unyielding advocate for change, John Podesta’s legacy is one that continues to shape progressive policy and America’s future.

“It’s hard to overstate John’s influence on American politics. He’s been a role model and mentor to me and so many others who care about government delivering for our communities,” said Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of CAP. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to launch this award in his honor. John has taught us that personnel is policy. Lorella embodies so many of the qualities that make John effective—tenacity, smarts, and stamina to finish the race. She is a hugely effective convener, and while she already has an impressive list of accomplishments, it’s clear that she’s just getting started.”

“John Podesta has transformed American progressive politics,” said Praeli. “It’s an honor to receive an award named for him, and more importantly, it’s a testament to the crucial role of organizing in the urgent work of building the future we deserve. We cannot win without organizers, and we cannot win without people power.”

Please join the Center for American Progress in honoring Lorella Praeli with the John D. Podesta Progressive Champion Award at the 2023 CAP IDEAS Conference.


Lorella Praeli, Co-President of Community Change and Community Change Action


Wednesday, October 25, 2023
2:45 p.m. ET


In person:

The Howard Theatre
620 T Street NW
Washington, D.C., 20001

To attend in person, please RSVP at this link.

To join our online audience, please RSVP at this link.

For more information on this topic or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at [email protected].

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