Georgetown University’s College Democrats awarded Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro the Alumni of the Year Award (LAW, 02) on October 4. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, AG Shapiro attended Georgetown Law School. From 2005 to 2012, he was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Last year, he was elected as the state’s Attorney General, defeating Republican nominee John Rafferty, as reported in the New York Times.
After receiving the Alumni of the Year Award, AG Shapiro spoke about his office’s priorities, especially in light of the new presidential administration. GU College Democrats honored Shapiro’s commitment to addressing the opioid crisis, as well as his leadership investigating Equifax’s data breach, which left sensitive information of millions of Americans vulnerable.
As Attorney General, Shapiro has focused on what he sees as unlawful acts by President Trump in key issues such as his immigration policies, the travel ban, and the repeal of protections against gender discrimination. He believes that if the federal government makes a commitment to protect citizens, every administration must honor it. In that sense, Shapiro considers President Trump’s plan to roll back the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program a violation of due process. DACA allowed immigrants to benefit from greater protection against deportation, as well as legally secure jobs. Shapiro expressed confidence that courts would continue to protect DACA recipients. “Every time I’ve sued him, I won. Every time I stood up, he stood down.”
Shapiro also spoke about his office’s efforts to fight gerrymandering, calling the practice “unhealthy for democracy” and the “number one reform that needs to be passed.” He feels confident that the Supreme Court will finally rule against Wisconsin’s partisan redistricting in a recent case.
Finally, when asked about advice he would give to Georgetown students, Shapiro urged the audience to “be open-minded to other things that may be interesting and to follow your passion.” He said that people have the responsibility to fight for others, and called for students to “make sure you’re doing something good” with a Georgetown education.