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Alicia Holmes Peyton Receives Award for Longtime Dedication to Public Interest

Nov. 16, 2009  

Alicia Holmes Peyton Receives Award for Longtime Dedication to Public Interest

Alliance for Justice Employee Honored With the Seventh Annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alicia Holmes Peyton, dedicated director of administration for 12 years at Alliance for Justice (AFJ), will receive Public Citizen’s seventh annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Service Award at a reception today at 4:30 p.m. at Public Citizen’s office at 1600 20th Street, NW. 

In a letter nominating Peyton, AFJ Director Nan Aron described Peyton as a calming force on the hectic environment at the alliance.

“Alicia is someone who retains her equanimity in face of whatever the organization throws her way,” Aron wrote. “She is guided by incomparable common sense. She has helped steady the ship that is Alliance for Justice for 10 years.”

Peyton said she felt honored to be considered for the award and expressed her great enjoyment for the work she does at AFJ.

“With the job that I do, I feel that if I make everybody else’s job easier. That in turn makes my job easier,” Peyton said. “I never even considered my work something that needed to be recognized with an award.”

Alliance for Justice is a national nonprofit organization comprised of more than 70 environmental, civil rights, mental health, women’s, children’s and consumer advocacy organizations. Since its inception in 1979, AFJ has worked to advance the cause of justice for all Americans, strengthen the public interest community’s ability to influence public policy and foster the next generation of advocates.

Public Citizen created the award after Phyllis McCarthy, a 24-year employee of its Health Research Group, passed away in November 2002. She worked for 24 years as a managing editor and office manager, playing an integral part in the development and preparation of publications, reports, medical journal articles and petitions to government agencies. The award is intended to recognize individuals who have worked long and hard for a public interest group, performing critical functions as did McCarthy, but who have not received public credit commensurate with their contributions.

As director of administration, Peyton does an array of things to ensure AFJ runs effectively. According to Aron, Peyton was instrumental in the alliance’s move 10 years ago to their current offices, has assumed responsibility for the organization’s expanding technology needs and  substantially improved employee benefits.

“She typifies the kind of dedicated person who makes organizations possible but rarely, outside of their own organization, are known or given credit for their efforts,” said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

Wolfe along with Aron will speak at the reception.