Showing posts with label Rep. John Lewis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rep. John Lewis. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Rep. John Lewis to be honored with postage stamp in 2023

The U.S. Postal Service has announced that the late congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis will be honored with a postage stamp in 2023.

This stamp celebrates the life and legacy of civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020) of Georgia. Devoted to equality and justice for all Americans, Lewis spent more than 30 years in Congress steadfastly defending and building on key civil rights gains that he had helped achieve in the 1960s. Even in the face of hatred and violence, as well as some 45 arrests, Lewis remained resolute in his commitment to what he liked to call “good trouble.” The stamp features a photograph of Lewis taken by Marco Grob on assignment for the Aug. 26, 2013, issue of Time magazine. The selvage showcases a photograph of Lewis taken by Steve Schapiro in 1963 outside a workshop about nonviolent protest in Clarksdale, MS. Derry Noyes served as art director for this project.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Watch President Barack Obama entire eulogy at John Lewis funeral

Former President Barack Obama eulogized civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis, during his funeral service on Thursday, July 30. During his speech, Obama spoke about the virtues of equality, why the best way to honor Lewis is to vote.

Watch Obama's full eulogy of Rep. John Lewis below:

Monday, July 27, 2020

Rep. Jim Clyburn to put forth legislation to rename voting rights bill after John Lewis

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn will offer legislation Monday to rename a House-passed voting rights bill after the late Rep. John Lewis, who was brutalized in the 1960s during efforts to secure voting rights for African Americans.

"Congressman Clyburn is offering legislation to rename H.R. 4 The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act tomorrow. The name change is expected to pass by unanimous consent," Clyburn's spokeswoman, Hope Derrick, said in a Sunday statement.

Clyburn, a Democrat who represents South Carolina, said last week that the best way to honor Lewis' life is for the Senate to consider the measure.

"I think that Trump and the Senate leadership, Mitch McConnell, by their deeds if they so celebrate the heroism of this man, then let's go to work and pass that bill because it's laid out the way the Supreme Court asked us to lay it out," he told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of The Union."

"And if the President were to sign that, then I think that's what we would do to honor John. It should be the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2020. That's the way to do it. Words may be powerful, but deeds are lasting," he said.


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Rep. John Lewis to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol next week

The late Rep. John Lewis will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol — followed by an unprecedented public viewing outside of the building — next week, as a tribute to the civil rights icon who died July 17.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday evening that Lewis will be honored in a private ceremony in the Rotunda on Monday, followed by a public viewing atop the East Front Steps on Monday night and Tuesday.

There will also be a procession through Washington, D.C., which has not yet been scheduled, where members of the public will be able to pay their respects “in a socially-distant manner,” according to a Pelosi and McConnell statement.

The Georgia Democrat will be the second Black lawmaker to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol, an honor reserved for the most revered of Americans. Members were also able to bid farewell to former Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died in October 2019, in the Capitol Rotunda. Only about three dozen people have ever had the honor.

Pelosi and McConnell also made clear that — amid the pandemic — Lewis’ public memorial cannot resemble the massive services of past years, with thousands of people flocking to Washington, D.C., to pay their respects to former presidents and other national figures.

With coronavirus cases still spiking nationwide, Lewis’ family has encouraged members of the public not to travel to Washington and to instead direct their tributes virtually.

Pelosi and McConnell advised that masks will be required for members of the public who wish to wait in line to pay their respects to Lewis on the Capitol steps. Social distancing will also be “strictly enforced,” they said.


Sunday, July 19, 2020

Rep. Payne, Jr.’s Statement on the Passing of Congressman John Lewis

Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. released the following statement regarding the passing of Congressman John Lewis. The Georgia Representative and civil rights icon died on July 17, 2020, after fighting cancer for several months. Congressman Lewis spent more than 30 years in Congress, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and fought for racial equality across the country during his storied and historic life.

“This is just a devastating loss for me and our entire country,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. “Congressman Lewis was such a great fighter for the right thing in our nation. For me, I have lost one of my fathers on the floor of the House. I was in awe of how he could convey such power and strength with a gentle demeanor. His passion and love for his country and people brought out a ferociousness in this mild-mannered man. He didn’t just speak for civil rights, he stood up against abuse and suffered to make this a better country for all Americans.

I learned so much from him. One of my greatest honors happened when we held a ‘sit-in’ on the floor of the House to try and get a vote on gun control legislation. It was his leadership that sparked that effort. There were so many situations like that I could mention. He always said it was important to ‘get into good trouble’ and those words have inspired me to this day. He was a hero, a mentor, a leader, and a great, great friend. As I said before, this is a tragic loss for our entire country.”

Congressman Lewis’ leadership was evident in hundreds of actions in and out of the House of Representatives. In 2016, Congressman Lewis led a ‘sit-in’ on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to protest the Republican leadership’s refusal to allow a vote on gun control after 49 people died and 53 were injured during a shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, FL.

Rep. Jim Clyburn: Edmund Pettus Bridge should be renamed after John Lewis.

While appearing on Meet The Press Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), echoed calls for the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., to be renamed after the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who died on Friday.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Honors the Life and Legacy of Congressman John R. Lewis

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Honors the Life and Legacy of Congressman John R. Lewis
Mayor Bottoms Orders Lowering of City Hall Flags to Half-Staff 
ATLANTA—Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued the following statement upon the passing of Atlanta’s revered Congressman John Lewis.
“There are no words to describe the tremendous loss that Americans, Atlantans, and I personally feel upon learning of the passing of Congressman John Lewis,” said Mayor Bottoms. “America knew him as a Civil Rights Icon, Congressional Giant, and a moral compass, but I knew him as a friend. The people of Atlanta often called upon Congressman Lewis for counsel, guidance, and assistance with getting into good trouble. No matter how busy his schedule, or important his Washington duties were, he answered. We were privileged to be represented by a leader with both a pure heart and an unshakable commitment to human rights. As we persevere in the modern fight for social justice, we should honor his legacy by continuing to hold on to hope. I pray for his family, his constituents, and all who loved and were impacted by the life of Congressman John Lewis.”
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff immediately on all City of Atlanta facilities until further notice in honor of the late Congressman.
The City of Atlanta’s Congressman Lewis is an American hero and one of the pillars of the Civil Rights Movement. Congressman Lewis was also revered as the dean of the Georgia Congressional delegation whose passionate call to "make good trouble" became a generational rallying cry for nonviolent activism in the pursuit of social justice and human rights.
From his early days as a student activist, an original Freedom Rider, and a founder and leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis became a symbol of perseverance and strength even as he endured physical violence and imprisonment. The sit-ins that he organized at segregated lunch counters and peaceful protests that he led, marching across the South, including "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Alabama, became a beckon of hope in the pursuit of equal rights.
As one of the Civil Rights Movement's "Original Six," this son of an Alabama sharecropper, at age 23, was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. During that speech, he implored government leaders to wake up to the evils of segregation, closing with words that still resonate today: "We must say, 'Wake up, America! Wake Up! For we cannot stop and we will not and cannot be patient.”
John Lewis began his political career as a member of the Atlanta City Council and was re-elected 16 times to the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia's 5th Congressional District, where he became known as the conscience of the U.S. Congress. The City hopes his courage, sacrifice, and leadership continue to inspire the best in us and all that America has to offer. 

Rep. James Clyburn statement on the passing of Rep. John Lewis

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC 6th District) released the following video statement on the passing of his friend and civil rights icon John Lewis:

Rep. Maxine Waters on the passing of civil rights icon John Lewis

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued a statement on the death of her dear friend and civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis (GA-5):

“Today is a sad day in American history. We have lost my dear friend and colleague of nearly three decades, Congressman John Robert Lewis.

“John Lewis was a revered civil rights icon who dedicated his entire life to what became his signature mantra, making ‘good trouble.’ Despite being one of the youngest leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, John Lewis galvanized and inspired hundreds of his peers to join in the fight for equal rights. He was a founder and leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; he organized and led countless marches and freedom rides across the Jim Crow South; and he worked alongside Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the struggle to secure the right to vote and end the demoralizing discrimination, unconscionable violence, and debilitating poverty facing Africans Americans.

“Very few people could have been harassed, arrested more than 40 times, beaten within inches of their lives, and still espouse Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings of nonviolence, peace, and love. However, these principles were core philosophies to John Lewis, and our nation is forever indebted to him for his humble sacrifices.

“It was John Lewis, clad in a trench coat and a backpack, who fearlessly led 600 people to march from Selma, Alabama across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to Montgomery, Alabama in support of voting rights. At the bridge John Lewis and the marchers were confronted by local police and Alabama State Troopers and ordered to turn around. When they refused, the police shot tear gas and began beating the nonviolent protesters. John Lewis’ skull was cracked open by a state trooper’s club, and this painful episode became known as ‘Bloody Sunday.’ John Lewis’ sacrifices and bravery on the Edmund Pettus Bridge absolutely led to the passage of the Voting Rights of 1965 shortly thereafter, and I am so proud to have joined him in Selma numerous times over the course of our careers to recognize his sacrifices on that bridge and the ongoing fight to protect the right to vote for African Americans and people of color.

“John Lewis was first elected to Congress in 1986, and he served 17 terms. He distinguished himself as an effective policymaker and true progressive who was relentless in his fight on behalf of the least of these. As a result, he earned the respect of not only his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but elected officials and leaders around the world.

“It was the honor of my life to serve alongside such a kind, courageous, and persistent leader and public servant. I considered John and his late wife, Lillian, dear friends, and my heart is heavy with the magnitude of the loss of one of our nation’s most beloved sons. My sincere prayers and deepest sympathies are with his son, John Miles Lewis, family, friends, staff, and constituents during this difficult time.”

Sen. Kamala Harris statement on the passing of Rep. John Lewis

Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) released the following statement via Twitter on the death of civil rights icon John Lewis:

Family of John Lewis releases statement on his death

The family of John Lewis has released a statement announcing the death of the congressman from Georgia.

The statement reads:

"It is with inconsolable grief and enduring sadness that we announce the passing of U.S. Rep. John Lewis. He was honored and respected as the conscience of the US Congress and an icon of American history, but we knew him as a loving father and brother. He was a stalwart champion in the on-going struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human being. He dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America. He will be deeply missed."

The Congressional Black Caucus Mourns the Loss of Congressman John Lewis

The Congressional Black Caucus released the following statement on the passing of House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman and Congressional Black Caucus Member, Congressman John R. Lewis (GA-05):

The world has lost a legend; the civil rights movement has lost an icon, the City of Atlanta has lost one of its most fearless leaders, and the Congressional Black Caucus has lost our longest serving member. The Congressional Black Caucus is known as the Conscience of the Congress. John Lewis was known as the conscience of our caucus. A fighter for justice until the end, Mr. Lewis recently visited Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington DC. His mere presence encouraged a new generation of activist to “speak up and speak out” and get into “good trouble” to continue bending the arc toward justice and freedom.
The City of Atlanta has lost one of its most fearless leaders. Congressman John Lewis spent his life fighting racism and injustice wherever he confronted it, from boycotts, sit-ins, and other protests in the streets, to championing bold, progressive policies in Congress. Mr. Lewis was born and raised in Troy, Alabama, a segregated town of the Deep South. At an early age, he was inspired by the non-violent activism of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This passion drove Mr. Lewis to dedicate himself and his life to the Civil Rights Movement.
As a student at Fisk University, Mr. Lewis was a part of the Nashville Student Movement and helped organize sit-ins that eventually led to the desegregation of the lunch counters in Downtown Nashville. In 1961, he became one of the 13 original Freedom Riders, an integrated group determined to ride from Washington, DC to New Orleans. In 1963, he became the Chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), an organization he helped form.
As Chair of SNCC, John Lewis was one of the “Big 6” leaders of the historical March on Washington on August, 28, 1963, and was the youngest speaker to address the hundreds of thousands marching for jobs and freedom that day.  He also played a key role in the marches from Selma to Montgomery, a campaign against the blatant voter suppression of Black citizens. He joined Hosea Williams and hundreds of civil rights marchers to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge on “Bloody Sunday” and suffered a fractured skull that day for the right of Black people to register and vote.
For 34 years, Mr. Lewis served Georgia’s 5th district and our country with the same burning desire to ensure America’s promises were accessible to all. He never hesitated to tell the truth about this nation’s history and injustices. In his very first Congress, John Lewis introduced a bill to create an African American history museum in Washington, DC, but the bill was blocked by Senator Jesse Helms for 15 years. But Mr. Lewis persisted, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in 2016 and is by far the most popular museum on the National Mall.
In 2012, John Lewis unveiled a marker in Emancipation Hall commemorating the contributions of enslaved Americans to the construction of the United States Capitol. The marker was the result of literally a decade of work by a special task force led by Mr. Lewis after a bill was found in the National Archives documenting payment for slaves to build the Capitol. Congressman Lewis commented at the unveiling:
“When I walk through Statuary Hall, it means a great deal to me to know that the unusual grey marble columns were likely hewn and polished by slaves in Maryland.  They quarried the stone in Maryland and sailed ships or barges many miles down the Potomac River weighed down by heavy marble columns to bring them to DC. Somehow, they carried them several miles through the streets perhaps using wagons and mules or horses, and then hoisted them up so they are standing as we see them today in the Capitol. The bronze statue sitting on top of the Capitol dome also involved the contribution of slaves.  These men and woman played a powerful role in our history and that must not be forgotten.”
Legislatively, Mr. Lewis championed the Voter Empowerment Act, which would modernize registration and voting in America and increase access to the ballot. He was also an ardent advocate for immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and affordable health care for all. As Chair of the Oversight Subcommittee on the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Lewis helped ensure the efficient implementation of laws related to tax, trade, health, Human Resources, and Social Security. He examined how the tax code subsidizes hate groups and the public health impact of gun violence. Most recently, Mr. Lewis pressed the Trump Administration to quickly deliver the stimulus checks that Congress provided in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr. Lewis continued his practice of nonviolent protest, community organizing, and grassroots activism throughout his tenure in Congress. In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded Mr. Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States of America. Following the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016, John Lewis led Democrats in a 26-hour sit-in on the House floor to demand that the body debate gun control measures. Every year, he led a pilgrimage to Selma to commemorate the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Even his recent health challenges could not keep him from commemorating the 55th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” this year.
Despite more than 40 arrests, brutal attacks, and physical injuries, Mr. Lewis remained devoted to the philosophy of nonviolence in his fight for justice and equality, even to this day, as America faces another reckoning with racism and hundreds of thousands around the world spark a modern-day civil rights movement against police brutality and racial injustice. He taught us to keep our eye on the prize, and that lesson is more crucial than ever. We will keep our eye on the prize of social justice, voting rights, quality education, affordable health care, and economic empowerment for every soul.
The entire Congressional Black Caucus extends our condolences to Mr. Lewis’ family, friends, staff, and the city of Atlanta.

Civil Rights Icon John Lewis dead at 80

John Robert Lewis, the son of sharecroppers who survived a brutal beating by police during a landmark 1965 march in Selma, Alabama, to become a towering figure of the civil rights movement and a longtime US congressman, has died after a six-month battle with cancer. He was 80.
"It is with inconsolable grief and enduring sadness that we announce the passing of U.S. Rep. John Lewis," his family said in a statement. "He was honored and respected as the conscience of the US Congress and an icon of American history, but we knew him as a loving father and brother. He was a stalwart champion in the on-going struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human being. He dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America. He will be deeply missed."
Read more: Civil rights Legend John Lewis dead at 80

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Congressman John Lewis shares message of support for SPLC

A longtime friend and supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Lewis leads and annual civil rights pilgrimage for members of congress to Montgomery to mark the anniversary of the 1965 voting rights march from Selma.

As the SPLC welcomes new President and Chief Executive Officer Margaret Huang, Lewis shared the following message of support:

I am glad to be joining with all of you at the Southern Poverty Law Center at a moment when your work is more critical than ever. Today, we are witnessing an incredible transformation of our world – and at the same time, we see the continuation of the struggle in which we’ve been engaged for the last many decades. While this pandemic has had an awful impact on our economy, on our social engagements, and on our political arena, it has not changed the urgent mission of overturning the ugly legacy of hate and extremism in the United States.

The SPLC has been a champion of inclusion, equity and justice for nearly 50 years. Your mission has never been more relevant, more critical, than at this moment. White supremacy and white nationalism groups have seized this moment to step up their recruiting efforts, using digital engagement to reach new audiences spending more time online. Educators, who have long championed efforts to teach children about a more inclusive world, are now separated from their charges and working to keep them fed and supported during this difficult time. Families who were already struggling economically are now desperate to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. We need SPLC to continue to lead – to fight the extremists, to teach empathy and belonging, and to champion those who seek justice.

I am glad to see new leadership at the SPLC, bringing energy, compassion and strategic vision that will help the organization play its vital role in our society. I wish Margaret and all of you at the SPLC my very best, and know that you have friends and allies in the larger social justice movement who are ready to stand with you.

—Congressman John Lewis

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Barack Obama statement on John Lewis cancer diagnosis

Former President Barack Obama took to Twitter to send a message to his friend Rep. John Lewis after Lewis announced that he had stage four pancreatic cancer:

If there’s one thing I love about @RepJohnLewis, it’s his incomparable will to fight. I know he’s got a lot more of that left in him. Praying for you, my friend.


Rep. John Lewis recently learned from doctors that he must undergo treatment for pancreatic cancer. He released this statement today regarding his prognosis and his plans to continue to serve the people of the 5th Congressional District of Georgia:

“I have been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now.

“This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage IV pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed.

“While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance.

“So I have decided to do what I know to do and do what I have always done: I am going to fight it and keep fighting for the Beloved Community. We still have many bridges to cross.

“To my constituents: being your representative in Congress is the honor of a lifetime. I will return to Washington in coming days to continue our work and begin my treatment plan, which will occur over the next several weeks. I may miss a few votes during this period, but with God’s grace I will be back on the front lines soon.

“Please keep me in your prayers as I begin this journey.”

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

John Lewis voices his support for Trump impeachment as only he can

Before the historic votes took place to impeach Trump on obstruction and abuse of power charges, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., spoke on the House floor to voice his support for the articles of impeachment against President Trump as only he can.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

John Lewis calls for start of Trump impeachment inquiry

Rep. John Lewis,(D-GA 5th District) , called for the start of an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump during an impassioned speech on the House floor. Lewis, who has until now withheld judgment on whether to begin impeachment proceedings, said delaying the inquiry any further “would betray the foundation of our democracy.” “I have been patient while we tried every other path and used every other tool,” Lewis said, but added that lawmakers would “never find the truth” unless the House uses the Constitution to begin an investigation into the president immediately.