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    Shirley Franklin (2005)

    2005 Profile in Courage Award Recipient Shirley Franklin became Mayor of Atlanta in 2001, having never before run for public office. She inherited an $82 million budget deficit – about a fifth of the city’s total budget – and a crisis of confidence in the public management of the city. Atlanta’s sewer system needed immediate and massive repairs, an...

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    Charles Price (1997)

    Judge Charles Price, a circuit court judge in Montgomery, Alabama, was honored in 1997 for his devotion to the principles of the American Constitution that compelled him to rule that a fellow circuit court judge's courtroom display of the Ten Commandments for religious purposes was a violation of the First Amendment. In 1995, Etowah County (Alabama...

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    James Florio (1993)

    On May 30, 1990, under Governor Florio's leadership, New Jersey passed the strictest gun control law in the nation, banning the sale and severely restricting the possession of assault weapons in the state. The action was a significant legislative victory for Florio, who was then engaged in a public and political battle over his reforms to the state...

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    Nickolas Murnion (1998)

    Garfield County Attorney Nickolas Murnion successfully prosecuted Montana's fiercely anti-government “Freemen” for advocating terrorism, and rallied his small community to stand up to the extremist hate group. In March 1994, the Freemen posted a $1 million bounty for the arrest and conviction of Murnion and several others who were involved in the f...

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    Dean Koldenhoven (2002)

    Dean Koldenhoven, former mayor of Palos Heights, Illinois, was honored for his political courage in speaking out against religious discrimination and calling for tolerance within his community. In May 2000, three years into his term, Mayor Koldenhoven confronted a crisis of intolerance in Palos Heights when plans to open a mosque in the Chicago sub...

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    Bill Ratliff (2005)

    Bill Ratliff, former state senator and one-time lieutenant governor of Texas, has been hailed as one of the state's greatest leaders, a thoughtful and dutiful public servant who routinely risked his own political career to solve public problems in a bipartisan manner. Bill Ratliff enjoyed a career as a civil engineer before he entered politics; he ...

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    David Baker, Michael Streit, Marsha Ternus (2012)

    On April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court made history by unanimously striking down a statute barring same-sex marriage, making Iowa the third state in the U.S. and the first state outside of New England to allow same-sex marriage. Massachusetts and Connecticut already allowed same-sex marriage at the time; California had done so before the passa...

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    Paul Muegge (2004)

    In 1998, Oklahoma State Senator Paul Muegge brought regulation to an industry that had long dictated its own terms to Oklahoma legislators. Muegge took on the powerful hog industry and angered the state's many hog farm workers by sponsoring legislation to regulate hog production, a billion-dollar industry in the state. The enormous negative envi...

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