Time to nominate Citizen of the Year

Helene Pierson

It's time for Inquirer readers to submit their nominations for the Editorial Board’s annual Citizen of the Year award.

This award isn’t about celebrity or power. It honors actions exemplifying citizenship in its broadest sense by people who have helped their neighborhood, region, or nation in effective, creative ways, while demonstrating integrity and perseverance.

To make a nomination, briefly explain who the person is and why he or she should win. E-mail the entry to kboyer@phillynews.com, with “Citizen” in the subject line. Or mail it to Citizen of the Year, The Inquirer, Box 41705, Philadelphia 19101. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 14.

The 2010 winner was Helene Pierson, executive director of the Heart of Camden, who has been a tireless worker to make that city’s Waterfront South neighborhood a better place for families.

Our first award was made in 2004 to former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean Sr. for his steady leadership of the 9/11 Commission.

Grassroots activists Timothy Potts, Eugene Stilp, and Russell Diamond won the 2005 award for leading the successful public revolt against Pennsylvania legislators’ sneaky pay raise.

In 2006, former Mayor W. Wilson Goode Sr. was cited for his Amachi program, which mentors kids with incarcerated parents.

Community leader Helen Gym, a consistent voice in support of improving public schools in Philadelphia, was the 2007 winner.

In 2008, former Common Cause director Harry S. Pozycki was cited for his work to get more New Jersey citizens involved in their local and state governments.

And the 2009 winners were Marsha Levick and Lourdes Rosado of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, who were cited for uncovering the unjust detention of children accused of juvenile crimes in Luzerne County.

So, who should be the 2011 Citizen of the Year?