Florida PIRG’s Ashwell Honored with May Lilburne Award

Tue, May 12 2009

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Floridian Brad Ashwell has been named May 2009’s John Lilburne Award for his efforts in defeating anti-ballot initiative legislation in the state legislature and protecting the rights of Florida voters.  Citizens in Charge Foundation, a transpartisan national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, is presenting Ashwell the Legislative Advocate for the Florida Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) with the award.

“The work of people like Brad Ashwell ensures that the average citizen can have in a voice in their government,” said Paul Jacob, President of Citizens In Charge Foundation. “Much like 17th Century patriot John Lilburne, Mr. Ashwell will be remembered for his dedication to citizen led reform and his defense of an open process for all Americans.”

Recently, two Florida bills making their way through the state legislature were indefinitely postponed.   State House 7149 and State Senate 956, would have hindered the initiative process and left Floridians less able to hold their government accountable.  Mr. Ashwell’s work with Florida PIRG and various other citizens’ rights group was important in helping to defeat these bills and for that he is being awarded the May Lilburne award.

In addition to his work defending the initiative process with Florida PIRG, Ashwell is also involved with the Save the Voters’ Voice Coalition and the Committee for Fair Elections.  Both of these groups work to preserve and expand Florida citizens’ right to petition their government.

Each month Citizens in Charge Foundation presents the John Lilburne Award to a citizen, or citizens, working to protect and defend the First Amendment petition rights of Americans. John Lilburne was a 17th Century English pamphleteer, political activist, and champion of individual rights, who advocated constitutional government and pioneered the use of petitioning and referenda for redress against government power and abuse.


Citizens in Charge Foundation is a national transpartisan voter rights group dedicated to expanding and protecting the ballot initiative and referendum process. Working with grassroots leader throughout the nation, the Foundation works to defend the process in the 24 states in which it exist and trying to expand the process to other states in the union.  We believe good government starts with the voter.  For more information visit us www.CitizensInCharge.org.