According to Travis T. Townsend, Jr., president of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta-Young Professionals, Neal, who has served in the House of Representatives since Jan. 11, 2011 and is again running for the seat in next Tuesday’s election, has been recognized for her achievements in areas relevant to the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, Young Professionals’ empowerment initiatives, which include education, economic growth, health and quality of life, civic engagement and leadership.
Neal will officially receive the award at the organization’s annual Dream Catcher’s Awards and Scholarship reception Aug. 10 at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.
Neal said that having a group with the magnitude and influence of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta to present her with this award means a great deal.
“It makes me feel great to know that all of the hard work and countless hours I have put in trying to help people didn’t go unnoticed,” said Neal, a native Georgian and, at 25, the youngest member of the House of Representatives.
“Also with the vasectomy bill’s impact, the thousands of calls, e-mails, twitter and other communications which have come to me and my office staff has been humbling and overwhelming,” she said.
Neal added that the calls she has received from women leaving their heartfelt thank you messages, letters and cards “goes to demonstrate that one person can impact the nation or world for that matter,” she added.
Neal believes the impact of the vasectomy bill was so unexpected, “it made the world stop and look at the injustices that were occurring in Georgia and listen to us, women,” she said.
In his letter informing Neal of the award presentation, Townsend said Neal’s courageous work in the community to eliminate double standards and unjust laws, “is paramount to our organization’s work in civic engagement,” he said.
Neal, who is with the Clayton County Police Department, has also worked at the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office as an internal affairs-background and hiring investigator and then as an investigator in the Fugitive Unit.
A graduate of Jonesboro High School who attended Valdosta State and Clayton State Universities, Neal, who is a member of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, has also developed a non-profit organization called Clayton Rocks.
This group engages and supports youth activities in the Clayton County area.