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Assemblymember Gipson on the passing of U.S. Representative John R. Lewis

For immediate release:

CARSON, Calif --- Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson, chair of the California Assembly Democratic Caucus, offers condolences and prayers to the family of U.S. Representative John R. Lewis.

“Congressman John R, Lewis was a giant whose life was spent in the pursuit of racial justice. This sharecropper’s son valiantly marched and strived for equality and civil rights for all.

“Rep. Lewis was one of the original 13 Freedom Riders and founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee which integrated lunch counters. He never backed down and repeatedly placed himself in harm’s way, charging into fires of hate, emerging with a bloodied body and a re-energized mission.

“Photos of the violent beatings of Rep. Lewis and protestors shocked and spurred the nation into action. In 1965, within days of Bloody Sunday in Selma where he suffered a fractured skull, the Voting Rights Act was passed.

“As a role model and champion for justice, he challenged everyone including myself to get into some ‘good trouble.’ He chose courage over fear and urged us to keep protesting for change and always choose love over hate.  I now challenge everyone in this country to honor his legacy of activism by becoming a change agent, get into some ‘good trouble’ and exercise our right to vote.“