The Eleanor Roosevelt Award is presented annually to members of our community whose work and service to the people of Coconino County embody the ideals of Eleanor Roosevelt. This year we have four nominees. Our Executive Committee faced a tough choice. Their decision will be announced and the award presented on Sunday during the Grand Finale of our Roosevelt-Kennedy Fundraising Drive. Here we recognize the exceptional nominees.
In her day, Mrs. Roosevelt was told to “attend to her own knitting,” but she refused. For decades, she wrote a daily newspaper column, traveled to spread FDR’s message, and pushed FDR’s administration toward more progressive policies. Truman appointed her to represent the United States at the first United Nations meeting. She said, “I see it as our duty to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable.”
“To leave the world richer—that is the ultimate success.”— Eleanor Roosevelt
This year’s nominees are:
Nancy Branham has a nearly 30-year career of service to the Flagstaff Community. Among other things, she has been a member of the North County Healthcare Foundation Board, served in various capacities with the Northern Arizona Association of Realtors, and read to grade school children weekly for many years. She is a tireless advocate for public education, appearing at Save Our School rallies and gathering petition signatures. In the last year, she has stepped into the role of Regional Precinct Committee Captain, spearheaded our 2021 MLK Day donation drive, and served energetically on the last two Roosevelt-Kennedy Fundraising Committees.
Sharon Edgar has the distinction of receiving two separate nominations. Jim McCarthy, Flagstaff City Council Member, said this about Sharon: “Sharon Edgar is a gem! Without her strategic thinking and hard work, I never would have been elected to City Council. She motivates herself and other people in a gentle but positive manner. She elicits hard work, but assures that time is used efficiently. Her giggle puts a smile on the faces of those she helps. Too bad we cannot clone her.” After working on two of Jim’s campaigns, Sharon became a full-time volunteer for Felicia French in her 2018 and 2020 campaigns for legislature, traveling the vast district as well as working in Flagstaff. In between, Sharon advocated for citizen’s initiatives and encouraged and mentored would-be candidates. She is a member of our party’s Platform Committee and has taken on responsibility for monitoring and strategizing concerning the redistricting process. Her work not only serves us but also serves other groups throughout the state.
Dan Jacoby and Traci Fulkerson played a key role in supporting the activities of the Coconino County Democratic Party in the Williams area pre-COVID-19 by helping to get out the word about our events and encouraging people to attend. During the presidential campaign, they acquired Biden-Harris yard signs on their own initiative and at their own expense long before the signs were available anywhere else in the county, distributing them to their neighbors and posting them along the Williams right-of-ways. Despite continuous efforts on the part of Trump supporters to deface and steal the signs, Dan and Traci were always out maintaining and re-installing them. They engaged with their neighbors, and were instrumental in quite a few “coming out” as Democrats despite Republican intimidation. Later, they provided space for storing and distributing yard signs for all of our Democratic candidates from a convenient, central location in the western region. As a result of their efforts on behalf of Democratic candidates, the Williams Veterinary Clinic suffered harassment and lost paying customers. To the extent that we gained Democratic votes in the western region in the general election, we owe much of our success to Dan and Traci.
Ann Johnson served a 43-year career in deaf education. Then she went to seminary school and became an Episcopalian minister. First, serving at the Church of the Epiphany in Flagstaff and then in congregations in Williams and Winslow, Ann set her congregations on paths to support social causes and individuals in need. She became a leader in the Northern Arizona Interfaith Council. Ann is Past President of the Board for the Flagstaff Symphony and still currently on its board. 2016 ignited a dynamo Ann into action for the Democratic Party. She became a Precinct volunteer and would be seen walking the streets of Cherry Hill knocking on doors almost every weekend during canvassing times. She worked on the Roosevelt Kennedy committee for the past few years raising money and soliciting donations for the auctions. She mediated debates for the city democratic candidates and the District 5 County Supervisor candidates during the 2020 election cycle. She is an active member of Flagstaff Indivisible. She works on the Party’s legislative committee using the weekly RTS tool to impact state legislative bills. She is an excellent neighbor.