State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-I-60, will receive the 2013 Liberty Bell Award, the highest award that is bestowed at the Annual Law Day Luncheon of the Bar Association of Erie County.
The award, established in 1964, recognizes community service that has strengthened the American system of freedom under the law, and acknowledges outstanding contributions to the effective functioning of U.S. institutions of government.
The Liberty Bell Award will be presented to Grisanti on Tuesday, April 30, at a luncheon held at Statler Towers in the City of Buffalo. Receiving the award in his absence (session day in Albany) will be his father, Richard Grisanti, who has been practicing law for more than 50 years.
"I am honored and quite humbled to receive such a prestigious honor," Grisanti said. "I feel my willingness to cross party lines and work with legislators from various backgrounds has allowed me to do what is best for my constituents. I am proud to represent and serve my community, and all the skills that I have learned as an attorney I have used in Albany to fight for Western New York and bring back every possible resource for our region. I will and have always put people first and not politics, since I have been elected to public office, and I will continue to do so."
Kathleen Sweet, president of the Bar Association of Erie County, said Grisanti has "not shied away from taking positions in the face of criticism" and that he was selected to receive the award because of his "strength of conviction and independent deliberation on matters important to our region."
Grisanti was born and raised in Buffalo and is the youngest of six children. He graduated from Sweet Home High School and Canisius College, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. After finishing his undergraduate degree, he went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. During law school, he was a member of the student bar association, received numerous certificates and book awards, and was a member of the entertainment committee for the Bar Association and the Italian Law Society.
Since graduating law school, Grisanti has worked at his father's law firm, which his grandfather founded in 1921. A third generation attorney, he has worked at his family's practice for more than two decades.
Grisanti currently represents the 60th Senate District, which includes parts of the City of Buffalo, the northtowns and the southtowns. Grisanti is chairman of the environmental conservation committee and currently sits on the finance, cities, cultural affairs, tourism, parks and recreation, higher education, infrastructure and capital investment, insurance, labor and veterans, homeland security and military affairs committees in the Senate, as well as the MS Legislative Alliance for the Senate.