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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Sen. Angus King, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Holly Sklar, Barry Cik, and Jerry Taylor Receive 2017 SUSTY Awards

For Immediate Release: 
October 19, 2017
Contact Info
Bob Keener

WASHINGTON, DC (October 19, 2017) – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME), U.S. Representative Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Founder and CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Holly Sklar, President of the Niskanen Center Jerry Taylor, and Founder and Technical Director of Naturepedic Barry Cik will be honored by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), which represents more than 250,000 businesses nationwide. The six will receive SUSTY awards, which ASBC gives annually to recognize exemplary leadership for policies that help build a more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable America.

“The Sustainable Policymakers Awards or SUSTYs acknowledge the important accomplishments and groundbreaking work that business leaders and policymakers across the country have undertaken to create a strong, modern economy built on principles of shared prosperity, environmental protection, and social justice,” said Richard Eidlin, ASBC Vice President of Policy and Campaigns, who coordinates the awards.

“All of this year’s honorees have demonstrated outstanding leadership,” Eidlin said. “Senator Whitehouse introduced legislation to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that put Americans’ health and safety at risk. As a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and cofounder of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, Senator Whitehouse is a leading policymaker fighting for smart solutions to address climate change and create a clean energy economy.

“Senator King endorsed legislation to provide American workers with paid family and medical leave. The FAMILY Act will not only strengthen family-friendly policies in the workplace, but it will also strengthen the American economy. High road employment practices like paid family and medical leave make our communities more resilient and our businesses more flexible to compete in the global marketplace.

“Representative Cummings has been a leader in promoting election integrity and advocating for election reform. He has also been a leading voice in efforts to change federal regulations that would block foreign political ad buys and to challenge the questionable practices of the Kobach Commission.

“Holly Sklar was the first person to mobilize a nationwide business constituency dedicated to raising the minimum wage and Business for a Fair Minimum Wage continues to be the major force in making a powerful business case for raising the wage. Holly has devoted her career to advocating fair wages, broad prosperity and forward-thinking economics. Her expertise is evident in widely published op-eds and books such as Raise the Floor: Wages and Policies That Work for All of Us and Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood.

“Jerry Taylor is one of the most prominent voices on energy policy making the conservative case for carbon pricing. Jerry is hugely influential in advocating for carbon pricing as an efficient, free market solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a hedge against global climate change. Prior to founding the Niskanen Center, Jerry spent over two decades at the libertarian Cato Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council, authored numerous policy studies, and testified before Congress as an expert on energy and the environment.

“Barry Cik has devoted his career to creating organic consumer products free of toxic chemicals that can pollute our homes, a natural result of his lifelong interest in preserving the environment for future generations. He is a leading advocate for legislative reform, and was invited to testify in Washington, D.C. as part of a congressional subcommittee exploring chemical reform. Barry is a thought leader, who frequently speaks before scientific, consumer, political and business audiences on the benefits of sustainable product design.”

Last year’s SUSTY award recipients were U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), CEO and President of Earth Friendly Products Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, U.S. Representative Chris Gibson (R-NY), and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

ASBC will present the 2017 awards during SUSTYBIZ17, its annual business policy summit in Washington, D.C. on October 22–24. Information about the summit may be found here: Photos of the award recipients are available on request.

The American Sustainable Business Council advocates for policy change and informs business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network, it represents more than 250,000 business owners, executives and investors from a wide range of industries.