SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Salt Lake, is the 2011 recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award bestowed annually by the Utah State Democratic Party.

The local recognition is given to women who "exemplify the high standards and share the compassionate philosophies" of the former first lady.

"Eleanor Roosevelt was a woman ahead of her time, a warm, loving, sincere, kind, wise, strong, disciplined and very human person who used her talents and position to help bring about much needed social change," said Jim Dabakis, Democratic State Party Chairman. "We think the same can be said for Patrice."

Arent was selected by a committee of past award winners based on nominations submitted by members of the public as well as local Democratic Party activists.

The committee chose Arent for her efforts to increase support for education, preserve open space and her leading efforts to stop higher-level nuclear waste from being stored in Utah, according to a state Democratic Party press release.

Arent served in the Utah House and Senate from 1996 until 2006. She was elected to the State House again in 2010, and currently serves as a member of the Democratic National Committee.

Previous Eleanor Roosevelt award recipients include former Congresswoman Karen Shepherd, Utah first ladies Lucy Beth Rampton and Norma Matheson, and several state lawmakers.

Arent will receive her award at a luncheon Oct. 27.

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