NBCSL President Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter’s Message on the Passing of Congressman John R. Lewis
I join the rest of the country in deep mourning over the passing of Georgia Congressman John Lewis. The loss is still reverberating amongst those who knew him, loved him, and admired him.
Congressman Lewis was the epitome of a public servant or a much better description of him would be servant leader. The care and concern for the least of these came through in everything he said or did. He was kind and gentle, seemed to have time to speak to anyone and listened in a way that made you feel like he really cared about what you were saying. Those of us blessed and highly favored enough to be in elected positions would do well to emulate Congressman Lewis’ spirit.
I remember working with him when I served as Chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Southern Regional Caucus. He was always ready, willing, and able to address the Southern Caucus and talk to us about the importance of the South, getting engaged in the process and maintaining and using the power of the vote. Congressman Lewis was a strong believer in the potential pivotal role the South could play in electoral politics long before it became fashionable to say so. He was a strong ally in helping the Southern Caucus amplify that message to the leadership of the DNC.
I have never met an elected official on any level who possessed the kind of humility, integrity and genuine love for humanity like the Congressman seemed to have. His commitment to justice for all people, Black, Brown, Women, LBGTQ was unwavering. Thanks to his determination to answer the questions If not us, then who, if not now then when? the country is better off. He was one of my heroes and I don’t think we will see the likes of a John Lewis any time soon.
Congressman Lewis has fought the good fight, he has run his race. The challenge for the rest of us is to understand that the struggle continues, and we must not give up or give in. Can we dig deep within ourselves and commit to making a positive difference for the most vulnerable in our midst? Let’s stop making it all about us and borrow just a grain of humility to help us make it all about others. In his honor, let us strive to make some good trouble.
Rest in Peace, Rest in Power, Congressman John Robert Lewis. Job well done!