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Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero is NASW Public Elected Official of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is pleased to announce Mayor Madeline Rogero is the  NASW National Public Elected Official of the Year for making Knoxville, Tenn. a better and safer place to live, especially for at-risk populations such as people who are homeless, LGBTQ, children and young men of color. 

“Mayor Rogero has devoted her life to public service and improving the conditions of others,” said NASW CEO Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW. “In these divisive political times, Mayor Rogero serves as an example to all with her compassion, stellar leadership abilities, and willingness to work with all sides to find a solution to pressing social issues.” 

The NASW National Public Elected Official of the Year award recognizes outstanding service and contributions of an elected official who has shown leadership in the formulation of public policy, particularly policies that affect social justice, health care, education, civil and human rights, and the protection and advancement of social work practice. 

Mayor Rogero is an ideal recipient for this award. As mayor she fostered a Roundtable on Homelessness that brings together people who are homeless, faith leaders, service providers and community officials to find reasonable solutions to homelessness in Knoxville. 

 Mayor Rogero took an active role in the design and development of a Save Our Son project aimed at reducing violence and increasing educational and employment opportunities among boys and young men of color in Knoxville. And she extended employee benefits to same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners and expanded Knoxville’s employee nondiscrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity.  

In addition, the mayor has worked with elementary students in an impoverished community to design safer pathways for the children to travel and supported the Knoxville Extreme Energy Makeover (KEEM) home weatherization project to help residents make their homes more comfortable and save energy.  

“NASW is proud to honor Mayor Rogero with this award,” McClain said. “Her policies and initiatives exemplify and demonstrate the values and ethics held so dearly by the social work profession.”

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.