Georgia mayor wins JFK Profile in Courage Award
Winners of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Awards tend to be big names, but while one of the two winners this year – George H.W. Bush – was in keeping with that tradition, the second winner came as a shock: Paul Bridges, the former mayor of Uvalda, a small rural town in Southeast Georgia.
Bridges, a Republican, faced potential prosecution in connection with a Georgia law that forbid “knowingly” transporting or harboring illegal immigrants, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Bridges regularly transported Some of Uvalda’s immigrants without legal status to churches and doctors’ appointments. Both legal and undocumented immigrants make up a significant portion of the farming town’s population, which is less than 600.
Bridges ultimately called a summit of Georgia leaders to discuss the situation in his town, and eventually the law was federally amended, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I’m just so very honored and humbled,” Bridges told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I only speak the truth on the immigration issues. It doesn’t take courage to speak the truth.”
The other, more well-known recipient this year, former president George H.W. Bush, will be honored for the courage demonstrated when he agreed to a 1990 budget compromise, going back on his 1988 campaign promise to not raise taxes, according to The Boston Globe. Although the action moved the country forward, it ultimately ruined Bush’s chances for re-election.
Both men will be honored at a May 4 ceremony held in at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library in Boston, according to program materials. Click here to learn more about the award.