Resolution introduced to name Capitol room in honor of Gabe Zimmerman

A room in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center will be named for Gabriel Zimmerman, the UC Santa Cruz alumnus who was shot and killed while staffing a community event in January for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. (Photo courtesy office of Gabrielle Giffords)

A resolution has been introduced in Congress to name a meeting room at the U.S. Capitol in honor of UC Santa Cruz alumnus Gabe Zimmerman, the congressional staffer killed in the January shooting spree that wounded his boss, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.

Room HVC 215 in the Capitol Visitors Center will be known as the Gabriel Zimmerman Meeting Room, according to the resolution introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., a close friend of Giffords, and Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz. The resolution had 181 co-sponsors as of Aug. 2.

Zimmerman, 30,  ('02, Stevenson, sociology) was Giffords' director of community outreach and organized the “Congress on your Corner” event in Tucson where a gunman killed him and five others Jan. 8. Giffords and 12 others were wounded. Giffords returned to the Capitol for the first time Monday, Aug. 1 since the shooting to cast her vote on raising the debt limit.

During a news conference in July announcing the resolution, Wasserman Schultz said Zimmerman was a "loyal, determined, public servant who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country.” She noted he is the first congressional staffer to be murdered in the line of duty.

Wasserman Schultz said the room will honor the thousands of congressional staffers across the country "who work for the people of the U.S."

Zimmerman's mother, Emily Nottingham, and his brother, Ben, attended the event. Ben Zimmerman said his brother "approached his job with openness and kindness" and "tried to use his talents selflessly and dedicated to making positive change."

Scholarship funds have been established at UC Santa Cruz and Arizona State University where Zimmerman received a master's degree in social work.

The UCSC scholarship fund has surpassed $70,000 with 510 donors. It will be used to support undergraduate students in the social sciences division who are passionate about social issues and committed to public service.