Dec. 7, 2005
Public Citizen Honors Long-Time Dedication to Public Interest Movement
Judy Maslen to Receive Third Annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A chief financial officer and associate director who has devoted a quarter century to citizen coalition building will receive the third annual Phyllis McCarthy Annual Public Interest Service Award today from Public Citizen.
Public Citizen created the award after Phyllis McCarthy, a 24-year employee of its Health Research Group, died in November 2002. The award is intended to recognize people who have worked long and hard in a public interest group, performing critical functions as did McCarthy, but who have not received public credit commensurate with their contributions.
This year’s recipient is Judy Maslen, a 25-year staff member of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG), which creates broad coalitions to work on critical issues from solar energy and petroleum prices to health care for all and public financing of campaigns.
As financial director of CCAG since 1980, Maslen has been the anchor of the financial infrastructure of the organization for 25 years. In addition, she has served as mentor and advisor to young organizers and activists who started their careers in the progressive movement at CCAG.
“Through all of this work, Judy has been a friend, mentor, advisor and cheerleader in countless efforts and through good times and bad,” wrote three former executive directors and current Executive Director Tom Swan in Maslen’s nomination letter. “Unsung and largely unknown, yet essential to the growth and development of public interest politics in the state of Connecticut and beyond, Judy richly deserves the recognition and support that this award will confer upon her.”
Phyllis McCarthy began her career with Public Citizen’s Health Research Group in 1978 as a typist, intending to devote her career to public interest work. She became the group’s detail-oriented office manager and managing editor of all of the Health Research Group’s publications, ensuring that the group’s many publications – which included books, monthly newsletters and more than 1,000 reports, medical journal articles and petitions to governmental and health safety agencies – were error-free and published on time.
The award will be presented at a 4:30 p.m. reception today at Public Citizen’s office at 1600 20th Street NW.