(AUSTIN) — With 12 winning entries, Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, is the sweepstakes winner in the Press Women of Texas (PWT) 2012 Communications Contest for work published in 2011. Because her multiple winning entries earned her more points than any other entrant, she won the contest’s Sweepstakes Award for the second consecutive year.
The senator’s award winners include her news releases regarding higher education issues, Senate floor speeches in opposition to voter ID and sanctuary cities legislation; her annual newsletter to constituents; and the website of the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency.
Senator Zaffirini’s annual newsletter, Senator Judith Zaffirini Reports to the Families of District 21, won two first place awards: one for the publication as a whole and a second for its layout. Also winning first place honors were two news releases regarding outcomes-based funding in higher education and the senator’s legislation creating the Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Challenge Scholarship program.
Other first place winners included a feature release marking Senator Zaffirini’s 47,550th consecutive vote in the Texas Senate and http://heget.posterous.com, the blog of the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency, which Senator Zaffirini co-chairs. The senator’s floor speeches in opposition to voter ID legislation, sanctuary cities legislation and the state budget won, respectively, second place, third place and honorable mention in the speech category.
“Winning the Sweepstakes Award not only is a great honor, but also reflects my commitment to communicating with constituents via all available news and social media,” Senator Zaffirini said. “What’s more, I am grateful to Press Women of Texas for championing First Amendment Rights and professional development in communication.”
The senator has won more than 670 awards for her professional and public service work, including more than 130 for communication projects. Second in seniority in the 31-member Texas Senate, she is the namesake of Texas A&M International University’s Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center, United ISD’s Senator Judith Zaffirini Elementary School, Laredo Community College’s Senator Judith Zaffirini Library, Lake Casa Blanca International State Park’s Senator Judith Zaffirini Road and Edinburg’s Judith Zaffirini Residential Treatment Center that focuses on fighting drug addiction.
Founded in 1893, PWT champions First Amendment rights, promotes awareness of professional standards in journalism and communications and provides valuable resources for women working in the communications arena.