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Michigan lawmakers react to death of Congressman John Lewis

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Posted at 4:25 PM, Jul 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-18 16:25:33-04

(WXYZ) — State and local lawmakers who represent Michiganders are reacting to the death of John Lewis.

Debbie Dingell issued the following statement:

Governor Whitmer released the following statement:

Congressman John Lewis was a civil rights legend who stood firmly on the front lines of our nation’s history. Congressman Lewis dedicated his life to building a more just, equitable nation for Black Americans everywhere, and his unwavering commitment to public service has set an example for leaders across the country. His work with leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King transformed our nation. John Lewis was an icon, and I know that people everywhere will feel the impact of his passing. May we honor his legacy by continuing the work to fix the systemic racism Black Americans face every day and build a country where everyone, no matter the color of their skin, can find opportunity. My heart goes out to the congressman’s family and loved ones during this time.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist issued the following statement:

America lost one of its greatest warriors in the fight for civil rights at a time when his leadership was needed the most. As our congressional and collective consciousness for two generations, John Lewis paved the way for so many people to make history by laying the foundation upon which I and so many others stand. This loss hits deep in the soul of every American, but we find solace in knowing that he inspired a legion of champions for change to carry forward this mission of justice, so that the next generation can be, believe, and become their greatest selves. We must recommit to righting the wrongs that John Lewis fought today and every day. To the man who caused good trouble: rest in power.

Congressman Bill Huizenga released the following statement:

John Lewis’ actions helped bring greater equality to America and move our nation closer to the principles it was founded on. I will never forget watching a special showing of the movie Selma with Congressman Lewis and my colleagues at the Capitol and then having a discussion on race relations in America. It was one of the most moving and informative experiences of my life. May John rest knowing that our country is a better place because of his historic efforts.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy released the following statement:

The world has lost two civil rights giants, long time Georgia Congressman John Lewis and fellow Freedom Rider, C.T. Vivian. Both marched with Martin Luther King, both were beaten numerous times while protesting, and both will be forever remembered as icons in the continuing movement for justice, equality, and peace. We will grieve and continue their work so that one day we all can really breathe.

The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement:

We have lost a national treasure, a giant in the civil rights movement and at a time when our entire country is suffering and desperate for the type of inspirational leadership that embodied John Lewis. From the bridge in Selema to the streets of Atlanta and to the halls of Congress, John always led with grace and dignity. He lived by the words - forgive and carry on. He never shied away from an opportunity to provide advice or tell a story from his life. He was open and warm and simply one of the kindest men I have ever met.

Rest in power, Congressman and may we continue to honor your legacy and live by your example.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the following statement:

Our country has lost a lion of the civil rights movement with the death of Con. John Lewis. This man’s life epitomized his strong belief in “good, necessary trouble” as he embraced non-violent activism to fight for equality. He was a mainstay at lunch counter sit-ins and with the Freedom Riders, and was the youngest keynote speaker at the 1963 March on Washington. Two years later his skull was fractured when he was brutally beaten crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. His career as an elected official followed, starting as an Atlanta city councilman and rising to Congress, where he served with calm dignity for more than 30 years. Let us remember his call to action as we continue to fight for equality for all: ‘When you see something that is not right, you have a moral obligation to do something, say something.

The White House released the following proclamation on behalf of President Trump.

As a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding public service of Representative John Lewis, of Georgia, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions through July 18, 2020. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half‑staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan released the following statement:

The passing of legendary Civil Right leader Congressman John Lewis is deeply painful at this particular time in our nation’s history, when his commanding presence in Congress is needed most.

His decades of courageous and moral leadership helped bring about great strides in our nation. And yet it is more clear than ever how much work remains before ours can be considered the truly just and equal society for which he spent his lifetime fighting.

That work will be difficult without his leadership, but it is work that must continue nonetheless. Before he passed, he was witness to a recommitment made by millions of Americans and people in nations around the world that Black Lives Matter.

Congressman Lewis’ life’s work continues today under a new generation of leaders. Because of that, I believe he would remain, as ever, hopeful and optimistic.

Congressman Andy Levin released the following statement:

John Lewis was a pure American genius. His mix of uncluttered moral clarity with tactical brilliance made him a man for many moments, far beyond the several for which he is best known. His legacy is everywhere. It is in the halls of Congress, where I was privileged enough to call him a colleague. It is on a bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he nearly lost his life in the fight for racial equality. But perhaps most importantly, it is in the spirit of the rainbow of Americans who continue that fight today, many of them still too young to know the man whose footsteps they are following as they make good trouble. That legacy will burn brightly with every march, every sit-in, every time we reject unjust rules and institutions designed to oppress us or our neighbors.

May we model his grace and his courage and continue the good trouble he started, even when—especially when—it is unpopular. I feel so much gratitude to have learned from this giant of American history and to have served, however briefly, alongside him. His loss is devastating, his memory everlasting. Rest in power, my brother.”