Political Leaders Program Recognizes Local Delegate's Service

Del. Chris Peace receives Expression of Ideals Award from University of Virginia Institute The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia focuses on training future political and community leaders. Sorensen programs concentrate on three central themes: ethics in public service, the power of bipartisanship, and a concentrated study of public policy issues. Sorensen's annual alumni reunion is held each October in Richmond.

At this year's reunion, Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) was presented the Expression of Ideals Award. This yearly award is given to a graduate who best embodies Sorensen and displays a spirit of ethics and bipartisanship. Delegate Peace is a graduate of the 2004 Political Leaders Program and Chair of the Richmond Regional Board. In his remarks, Peace reiterated the principles of Sorensen, "When we listen to others, exchange ideas and understand where they are coming from, it only makes us better..." He continued by saying, "We can make a difference even though we do not agree; sharing our perspectives makes the discourse better."

According to their website, the Sorensen Institute has more than 1,000 graduates of its various programs. Sixteen alumni now serve in the Virginia General Assembly-two in the Senate and fourteen in the House. Dozens more have been appointed to boards and commissions, while nearly 100 have been elected to local office. In the November 2007 elections alone, a record 48 Sorensen graduates won elections: 18 Republicans, 18 Democrats, and 12 Independents. Other alumni are serving in critical positions of leadership in nonprofits, local governments or in the private sector.