Fighting gun violence has never been more important.

The GIFFORDS Champion Award recognizes up-and-coming candidates committed to building a safer America.

About the Giffords Champion Award

As more and more communities suffer the devastating toll of gun violence, new champions are stepping up across the country to protect their families, their neighborhoods, and their states. 

As part of our commitment to uplifting new voices in the movement to save lives and stop shootings, we’ve launched the GIFFORDS Champion Award. The award will spotlight up-and-coming candidates for elected office across the country who have made preventing gun violence their top priority. Winners will be selected by GIFFORDS PAC each election cycle after an application and interview process and will receive substantial support for their campaigns if selected for this distinction.

An ideal GIFFORDS Champion is:

Ready to Win: Meet our 2024 Champions

GIFFORDS PAC is proud to support our inaugural Champion Award winners in their campaigns for Congress and state legislative seats in 2024: Lateefah Simon, Brian Williams, Averie Bishop, and Yvette Valdés Smith

Each of these inspiring candidates has made gun safety a top priority in their races and is bringing a much-needed new voice to the campaign trail and to the fight to save lives. Their lived experiences—from the classroom to the operating room, and in some of the communities most impacted by senseless violence—have given them the tools they need to effectively advocate for our children and families. They are ready to take on the gun lobby and anyone who would stand in the way of progress toward a safer future.

Simon, Williams, Bishop, and Valdés Smith represent the next generation of gun safety champions. In office, they’ll be the leaders who introduce and pass the next wave of lifesaving measures and build on the successes of the last decade.

Get to know each of the GIFFORDS PAC Champion Award winners below.

Lateefah Simon is a nationally recognized advocate for civil rights and social justice who has been serving her community in Oakland and the Bay Area for more than 25 years. Like so many in this movement, she knows that gun violence is a public health crisis that must be addressed head on. In Congress, she’ll work tirelessly to pass lifesaving measures like universal background checks, a federal extreme risk law, and strong safe storage standards. 

Dr. Brian Williams is a proud veteran and trauma surgeon with experience treating victims of gun violence. Fueled by a desire to save lives and prevent senseless tragedies, he worked as a policy advisor for Senator Chris Murphy and helped write and pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in 2022. In Congress, he will work to disarm domestic abusers and fund lifesaving community violence intervention programs.

Averie Bishop is a law school graduate, former Miss Texas, and substitute teacher who knows how traumatized our children are by the concept of school shootings and senseless violence. In every role, she’s worked to engage young people around the issues that have defined their generation—especially gun violence prevention. In the Texas House, Bishop will fight to address the root causes of gun violence and pass commonsense measures, like raising the age of purchase for certain firearms.

Yvette Valdés Smith is a former public school teacher, the minority leader of the Dutchess County Legislature, and the mother of young children. She knows we need to do more to build a better future for the next generation and ensure that every New Yorker can live free from the threat of gun violence. In the New York Senate, she’ll take on the gun lobby and their enablers in Albany and put public safety first.

Become a Giffords Champion

Interested in being our next GIFFORDS Champion Award recipient? We will be presenting this honor to deserving candidates once per election cycle. Check back soon for updates on our next application period.

Note that the GIFFORDS Champion Award is separate from GIFFORDS PAC’s general political endorsement process. If you are running for office and interested in securing the support of GIFFORDS PAC in your race but not pursuing this distinction, please reach out to our team directly at


Over 40,000 Americans lose their lives to gun violence every year. In communities, courts, and ballot boxes nationwide, Giffords fights to save lives from gun violence. Will you join us?