“Stone passed away in early November, but will always be remembered for her inspiring and powerful participation in our democratic process,” Progress Iowa said, in a statement.
Stone’s family members will attend the Progress Iowa Holiday Party and accept the award on her behalf.
Past recipients include: Marcia Nichols; Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Council 61; Tammy Wawro, former president of the Iowa State Education Association; and the 11 student leaders who worked alongside Progress Iowa to organize the March for Our Lives rally at the Iowa Capitol in 2018.
“Everything Progress Iowa does is done working side by side with grassroots activists and the elected officials who stand up for progressive values,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa.
Ruth and Tom Harkin will also be honored at the event with a new annual award created in their name. The “Ruth and Tom Harkin Hero Award” will be given to an elected official in Iowa who promotes progressive values.
“We are proud every year to recognize advocates and now we are honored to present an award named after Ruth and Tom Harkin each year,” Sinovic said. “Recognizing the great work of even more leaders will help us continue to fight every day for working families and to make sure that every Iowan is treated fairly and equally under the law.”
Both Ruth and Tom Harkin will speak at the event and accept the award.
Organizers expect a big turnout for this year’s party. General admission tickets to the 7th annual Progress Iowa Holiday Party are on sale for $11 online or in person at Hoyt Sherman Place.
The event is typically one of the better-attended annual political events, often drawing top-name speakers from around the country. Many leaders who would later run for president used it as a testing ground for their speeches in Iowa, including Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.
This year’s gathering will also double as a pre-game for the December Democratic debate, with a debate watch party being held in the Hoyt Sherman afterward.
Campaigns for candidates who have qualified the December Democratic debate will also have the chance to send a representative to speak at the event.
By Josh Cook