Tom Steyer Statement on the Passing of Congressman John Lewis
(San Francisco, CA, July 18) – Climate activist, NextGen America founder, and former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer released the following statement on the passing of Civil Rights titan, Congressman John Lewis:
“Today, the entire nation mourns the loss of Rep. John Lewis, whose courage, moral clarity, and tireless commitment to justice taught generations how to fight. John Lewis’ fight began as a youth activist leader, demonstrating that the way we enact lasting change is by engaging and empowering our youth. He supported youth-led movements throughout his life, maintaining the belief that our nation’s young people will be the disruptors and shepherds towards progressive change.
“John Lewis’ fearlessness prevailed throughout his career as an activist and Congressman. From his leadership on laws to defend every voter’s ballot, end discrimination, and protect vulnerable communities, Rep. Lewis forged and fortified pathways of equality for this nation. The right way to honor his legacy as a lifelong civil and voting rights champion, is to continue that fight; to pick up his mantle and march boldly towards the future he never stopped fighting for. As we ask ourselves the legacy we want to leave behind, we must ignite Rep. Lewis’ light and never stop making good trouble in the face of systemic injustice.”
MAJORITY WHIP CLYBURN DELIVERS REMARKS FOLLOWING THE PASSING OF JOHN LEWIS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn delivered the following remarks today following the death of his good friend Congressman John Lewis.
“Last night, when I was informed of the death of my longtime friend, John Lewis, I sat alone for a moment thinking about what John meant to this country, to this movement, and to me as a person.
“The country lost a hero last night. The movement lost an icon. And I lost a personal friend.
“John and I first met back in October 1960. We were in Atlanta for an organizing meeting of what became known as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, commonly known as SNCC. That weekend was transformative to me. John and I enjoyed almost 60 years of friendship. We never thought back then that we would be successful enough in the movement to both end up serving in Congress together. Yet, for almost 27 years we did, because he never lost faith.
“When I became Majority Whip, I often talk about how simple it was to whip John Lewis. You always knew exactly how he was going to vote. Doesn’t mean you would always be comfortable with his vote, but you knew how he would vote because you knew John Lewis.
“John was one of those people who internalized nonviolence. Many of us practiced it, but John lived it.
“When I would run for leadership positions, I would never go to John to second, or even to nominate me. I always went to him to ask for his support, but I never asked him to nominate or to second my nomination because I never wanted John Lewis to be put in a position of not being able to say he was for everybody. Because he was. He was that kind of person.
“We are going to miss John Lewis. But John Lewis will be forever in our hearts, in our minds, and, yes, in our souls.
“I am doing this tape during sunrise, because I do believe that as the sun set on John Lewis’s life last night, the sun rises on a movement that will never die.
“Thank you, John, rest in peace my brother.”
Senator Kamala Harris Statement on the Passing of Civil Rights Hero John Lewis
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) on Saturday released the following statement on the passing of Congressman John Lewis. Congressman Lewis passed away on Friday, July 17, 2020.
“Congressman John Lewis was an American hero—a giant, whose shoulders upon many of us stand. Throughout his life, he showed unending courage, generosity, and love for our country.
“As the son of sharecroppers in Alabama, John Lewis’ courage and vision placed him at the forefront of the civil rights movement. As the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington, John Lewis knew the importance of bringing people together for an America that lives up to its ideals of liberty and equality for all.
“It was an honor to once again join Congressman Lewis this year in Selma, Alabama in March for what would be his final walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where just 55 years ago, Lewis was among those beaten by state troopers as they bravely marched from Selma to Montgomery for the right to vote. I was moved by his words: ‘On this bridge, some of us gave a little blood to help redeem the soul of America. Our country is a better country. We are a better people, but we have still a distance to travel to go before we get there.’
“We are grateful that John Lewis never lost sight of how great our country can be. He carried the baton of progress and justice to the very end. It now falls on us to pick it up and march on. We must never give up, never give in, and keep the faith.
“I will always cherish the quiet conversations we shared together when he inspired me to fight for the ideals of our beloved country. My prayers are with John Lewis’ family, loved ones, and the nation as we grieve this tremendous loss.”