2004 New Frontier Award recipient Karen Carter.

Background

In 1999, at the age of 30, Karen Carter beat out a diverse field of candidates to fill the legislative seat of Louisiana civil rights legend Rev. Avery C. Alexander. Her legislative district encompasses the heart of New Orleans and during her first year as a legislator, her colleagues selected Representative Carter as “Rookie of the Year.” She made her mark as a rising star in 2004 when she authored and boldly won passage of a new law to reform the management of the failing New Orleans school system. Her efforts to pass the school reform bill spanned more than two years. While her bill was controversial, Ms. Carter won widespread acclaim for her dogged efforts to take on and win a battle for reform of one of the nation’s struggling public school systems. Representative Carter was honored with the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award for demonstrating the impact of elective public service through her work to improve New Orleans’ public schools, and for serving as a role model to young Americans everywhere.