Las Vegas, Nev. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement on the passing of Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.-05). Congressman Lewis served in the United States House of Representatives for 30 years and was a leader in the civil rights movement, organizing the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Congressman Lewis was also an original Freedom Rider in 1961, a principal speaker at the March on Washington in 1963 and one of the many peaceful protestors attacked by Alabama State Troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday during a 1965 march in Selma, Alabama.
“Congressman Lewis grew up the son of Alabama sharecroppers in the Jim Crow South and went on to serve for thirty years in the United States House of Representatives. He was a force for equal rights under the law as a leader in the civil rights movement, and an advocate for Dreamers, LGBTQ Americans, farmworkers and countless others who didn’t have a voice in the halls of power.
“As he organized nonviolent protests against systemic racism from lunch counters to the halls of Congress, he never lost sight of his vision. A vision of ‘the beloved community’ where all would be welcomed, treated with dignity and celebrated for their gifts.
“Today, Paul and I mourn the loss of a man who forced our nation to reckon with its conscience, a leader with the courage to put his life on the line to make ‘good trouble’ and a visionary whose faith showed us all that there is a way out of hate and darkness: the way of love. We send our deepest condolences to his loved ones and staff during this difficult time.”