Senator O’Brien Receives Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award

LANSING, Mich. — State Senator Margaret O’Brien was awarded a 2018 Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award by the Michigan Press Association (MPA) on Thursday during the association’s annual convention.

The award is named in honor of the former state representative who tragically died in 2016.

“Peter Pettalia was more than a colleague; he was a dear friend,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “Pete and I shared many things in common, and ensuring that government is open and transparent was important to us. To be recognized with an award in his name for those efforts is an honor. I cherish this award.”

Senator O’Brien was recognized for her strong support of open government, transparency and journalism. She credited investigative journalists for bringing Larry Nassar’s crimes to the public.

O’Brien was one of three legislators to be recognized. In a press release announcing the winners, the MPA said the actions of the three award recipients directly support MPA’s mission of defending free speech, promoting a strong press and fostering an informed citizenry.

The MPA heralded Rep. Pettalia for his advocacy of newspapers and open government. The MPA noted he was one of the first recipients of the award and that this year’s recipients honor those traditions.

“Open government is always good government, and these leaders are examples of doing the people’s business in the open and knowing the value of keeping the public informed,” said MPA President Brad Thompson in the news release.

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Photo caption: State Senator Margaret O’Brien was awarded a 2018 Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award by the Michigan Press Association on Thursday during the association’s annual convention. Pictured are, from left, MPA Executive Director James Tarrant, O’Brien, and Three Rivers Commercial News Publisher/Editor Dirk Milliman.