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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Emily's List President's Message on tragedy in Arizona, 1-8

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you about the senseless violence in Tucson today, where a gunman attacked Cong. Gabby Giffords, her staff, and constituents at a public event. As I write, we know that at least one member of Congresswoman Giffords' staff, as well as a young child and other bystanders, were killed in the cold-blooded attack, and Congresswoman Giffords is fighting for her life, following a bullet entering her brain at close range.

Our hearts break for Gabby, her husband Mark Kelly, and her children and family, and we send our thoughts and prayers to Gabby and her family as they endure this tragic experience. I know, because I have read your emails and letters about her, how inspired you all have been by Gabby.

She blazed into our lives as the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate, and we all rejoiced with her when she won a congressional seat that had been held by Republicans for twenty years. Just a few months ago, we asked for your help as Giffords ran for re-election against tough headwinds -- and with your help, Gabby persevered. We hope and pray she will persevere now, and we ask that you keep Gabby, her family, and the other victims of today's tragic violence in your thoughts and prayers, too.

When the shots were fired, Gabby was doing the job she'd been elected to do. She was meeting with the families she is privileged to represent in Washington and finding out how she could best serve them. And that's who she is -- a dedicated public servant, a fighter for families in Arizona and beyond, and a roll-up-your-sleeves kind of leader.

We may never be able to make sense of the violence today. But I hope we recognize that violence, or threats of violence, or invitations to commit violence against those who serve in government have no place in the political rhetoric of a free and democratic country. Today, I'm reminded of our responsibility to love our neighbors, and to take care of each other.

Those who serve, like Gabby, stand as reminders of our democratic tradition and our insistence on fair representation. In the face of violence, we at EMILY's List stand committed to continued service, and to a country that decries violence and embraces steadfast leadership like that of Cong. Giffords. At this time, we are grateful for the powerful community of EMILY's List members, and we ask that you continue to send your thoughts and prayers to Cong. Gabby Giffords today and in the days to come.


Stephanie Schriock


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