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Defending Democracy Award to be Presented to...

Join the League of Women Voters of Iowa as we present our annual Defending Democracy Award to Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad:

Thursday, October 14, 2021 7:00 p.m. via Zoom at: Meeting ID: 833 1206 5281 Passcode: 174147

Ako Abdul-Samad is a life-long resident of Des Moines. His first role in community service was as a lieutenant with the Black Panthers, where he helped found a free breakfast program. He founded the nonprofit Creative Visions in 1996 to address drug use, gang violence, and crime involving at-risk youth. The organization has expanded to include meal programs, career counseling, and additional services that empower individuals to build better lives. In 1997, Abdul-Samad's son, Ako White Abdul-Samad, was killed. Abdul-Samad forgave the young man who killed his son and even took him into his own home to protect him. After serving on the Des Moines School Board, Abdul-Samad was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in 2007. He is currently Assistant Democratic Leader. Following the death of George Floyd, Abdul-Samad has been a constant leader working with protesters and police to promote nonviolent civil engagement. Abdul-Samad was instrumental in the unanimous passage of the June 2020 "More Perfect Union" legislation that prohibits the use of chokeholds by officers, granting the Attorney General the ability to investigate officers who have committed a criminal offense leading to someone's death; requiring annual de-escalation training for officers, and prohibiting the rehiring of officers who were fired or have resigned for serious misconduct. League of Women Voters of Iowa thanks Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad for his tireless pursuit of defending democracy and invites you to join us as we present the Defending Democracy Award to him during a virtual program.


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