BROOKLYN, NY — NYC Council Member Farah N. Louis (D-Brooklyn) released the following statement as millions worldwide pay their final respects to a civil rights icon, U.S. Representative John Lewis. He died on July 17 at the age of 80 while battling pancreatic cancer. On Monday and Tuesday, his body will lie in state within the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C.


“As a Black woman, I needed to pause and reflect on the impact that the passing of Rep. John Lewis and Reverend Cordy Tindell ‘C.T.’ Vivian on July 17 would have on our present-day protests for equality and justice. These two American heroes and civil rights heroes made tremendous sacrifices, risking their lives to march side-by-side in the pursuit of equality and justice. Their blood, sweat, and tears paved the way for me to vote and ultimately run for public office.

“The passing of U.S. Representative John Lewis and Reverend Cordy Tindell ‘C.T.’ Vivian have been an immeasurable loss to our country.

“Although Representative Lewis suffered a fractured skull when he was beaten by police while attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma 55 years ago on ‘Bloody Sunday’ alongside nonviolent marchers who sought their right to vote, his spirit was never broken.

“He was a freedom fighter who was renowned for his courage when faced with danger and humility despite his undeniable contributions towards the advancement of the Civil Rights Movement.

“From the lunch counter sit-ins to more than 30 years in Congress as the representative for Georgia’s 5th district, his consistent determination to bring America to its highest potential will serve as a model for our own forward progress. He was the ‘conscience of Congress.’ We are forever indebted to his patriotism, perseverance, and passion. 

“Now, it is this generation’s turn to rise up and do our part to create a more fair and just society. We have a personal, moral, and human obligation to identify injustices and right those wrongs. 

“May we forever remember Representative Lewis’ call to action to ‘speak up, speak out, and get in the way,’ to ‘get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.’

“My deepest condolences to Representative Lewis’ family, friends, and colleagues — may his legacy live on through our collective fight for racial justice. Rest in Power.”