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Senator Judith Zaffirini: District 21
Press Release
May 24, 2006
Contact: Larkin Tackett
(512) 463-0121

(AUSTIN) - Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, received four awards recently in the 2006 Print Media Communicator Awards competition for her roast of Senator Rodney Ellis, D-Houston; a children's book, If Judy Pappas Can Do It, Anybody Can!; and her annual newsletter.

The Communicator Awards is an international awards competition founded by communication professionals to recognize excellence in their field. Winners are from 50 states and numerous foreign countries.

In 2003 Senator Judith Zaffirini was named a Distinguished Alumna of The University of Texas at Austin and asked Senator Ellis to roast her at the traditional luncheon. When he was named a 2005 Distinguished Alumnus, he called on Senator Zaffirini to reciprocate at the annual awards luncheon. Senator Zaffirini's roast of Senator Ellis, aptly titled "Payback," received an Award of Distinction from the Communicator Awards.

Senator Zaffirini also received an Award of Distinction for her motivational children's book, If Judy Pappas Can Do It, Anybody Can! Published by the Laredo National Bank-Grupo Banco Bilbao Viscaya Argentaria (LNB/BBVA Group), for students at Zaffirini Elementary School, the book highlights relevant milestones in Senator Zaffirini's life, from her first memory of learning to read at the age of three, to her recent accomplishments as vice chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. Photos and stories describe her educational experiences, her dedication to family and her work as a communications specialist and Texas senator.

"If Judy Pappas Can allows me to share the lessons I learned while transforming rejection into acceptance, failure into success and disappointment into joy," said Zaffirini. "For the book to earn an international award truly is an honor."

In addition to her speech and book, Senator Judith Zaffirini Reports to the Families of District 21, an annual newsletter highlighting Senator Zaffirini's work in the Texas Senate, earned both an Award of Distinction and an Honorable Mention. Targeting the 640,000 constituents who live in the 17 counties that comprise Senate District 21, the newsletter was sent to 176,000 households.

The senator has won more than 535 awards for her professional and public service work, including more than 90 for communication projects.

This year she has received awards for her public service and professional work. These include the Texas Advocacy Award from the American Cancer Society and the Texas Hospital Advocacy Tribute from the Texas Hospital Association.

Fourth in seniority in the 31-member Texas Senate, the senator has the following named in her honor: 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 the Judith Zaffirini Women's Program in Edinburg that focuses on fighting drug addictions and also provides services for men and children.