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20 Jul
0

Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Statement on Congressman Lewis’ Passing

For Immediate Release
July 20, 2020

Media Contact:
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
405-536-2412

Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Statement on Congressman Lewis’ Passing

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party released the following statement on Congressman John Lewis’ passing from Alicia Andrews, ODP Chair:

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our most respected and endeared civil rights heroes, Congressman John Lewis,” stated Alicia Andrews. “Lewis leaves behind a legacy that will impact generations to come for decades and hopefully will continue to encourage others to join the fight against injustice and oppression.”

“Congressman Lewis refused to be silenced. He dedicated his life working against segregation and equal rights to vote, but he also inspired people to get involved in peaceful actions against racial injustices. He was humble in his approach while adopting Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent response to hatred.”

“From lunch counter sit-ins, joining the Freedom Riders movement, and the horrific “Bloody Sunday” beatings on Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Lewis risked his life fighting against racism. He continued that fight in 1981 when joining the Atlanta city council and then the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district in 1987.”

“We are reminded that our nation continues to fight a divide, further driven by hatred at levels not seen since the 1950s and 1960s. It is in Lewis’ memory that we must get in the way of systemic racism and voter suppression. We must all unite despite the efforts of those who would divide us. We must work for racial justice and against oppression for all humans,” concluded Andrews.

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For more information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party, visit the party website at okdemocrats.org, or call party headquarters at 405-427-3366.

20 Jul
0

The Oklahoma Democratic Party Mourns an Icon

The Oklahoma Democratic Party Mourns an Icon

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party mourns the passing of U.S. Congressman John Lewis, legendary activist and civil rights leader who was known for his life-risking actions for justice, humility, and forgiveness.

John Lewis inspired a movement fighting racism and civil injustice. Lewis was a follower and friend of Martin Luther King Jr., participating alongside him in lunch counter sit-ins, joined the Freedom Riders challenging segregation, and was the last living keynote speaker at the historic 1963 March on Washington.

Lewis marched for voting rights on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, also known as “Bloody Sunday,” where he was attacked with clubs, fracturing his skull. This march, which was heavily armed by state and local police, did not deter Lewis. He continued to push for voting rights and was a key organizer in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Lewis said years later, “I gave a little blood on that bridge. I thought I was going to die. I thought I saw death.”

In 1981, Lewis was elected to the Atlanta city council and then the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district in 1987. He dedicated his life and service to fighting racial injustice and protecting the right to vote.

His legacy reminds us that our nation still has work to do. We shall not forget the sacrifices he made so that we may continue his work to unite in the name of justice — our sincerest condolences to the Lewis family.

18 Jul
0

Our Country Mourns a Titan Today

Our Country Mourns a Titan Today

Last night, Congressman John Lewis passed away at 80 years old, leaving behind a legacy of activism and service that will echo for generations to come.

His zeal for justice was only matched by his capacity for compassion. He sat in for justice and stood up for equality, he marched for jobs and rode for freedom. The last living speaker from the March on Washington, he provided a bridge from how far we’ve come and a road map to where we still need to be.

Congressman Lewis never failed to remind us of our moral obligation towards one another. He lived his life acting on behalf of those facing injustice and oppression and then encouraged us to do the same — from the streets of Selma to the halls of Congress.

While many espouse the virtues of justice or a fidelity to true equality, it is the rare leader who inspires them in millions.

John Lewis was one of those leaders.

That crisp Sunday morning when he set foot on the Edmund Pettus bridge he knew what lay ahead. He understood that racism’s fists and segregation’s billy clubs would very well beat him to within an inch of his life, and if he survived he would likely wake up in a jail cell. But he stepped forward anyway, knowing full well the carnage that awaited him. He sacrificed himself so his country he loved so dearly could one day be worthy of such an act. The words of our constitution may have been written by revolutionists in 1776, but they were given meaning by a revolutionary in 1965.

His impact is inescapable. He pushed forward landmark legislation like the Civil Rights Act, showed us the power of organizing and standing up for what’s right, and inspired us to dream bigger and push harder for the kind of world we want to live in.

These lessons hold just as much, if not more, significance today.

As our country continues to grapple with racial injustice and violence, with how we welcome and treat immigrants and refugees, with how we respect and recognize the rights of LGBTQ individuals everywhere, Congressman Lewis’ directive to cause “good trouble, necessary trouble” has never been more needed.

In a moment where we have been driven apart, in a nation that feels as divided as it has ever been, let us allow John Lewis to bring us together one more time. Allow his memory to continue to lead us toward that more perfect union.

His legacy reminds us that we are truly one nation, but it also demands that we continue to work toward completing our unfinished business, his unfinished business: Justice.

May he rest in power.

Tom

Tom Perez
Chair
Democratic National Committee

18 Jul
0

DNC on the Passing of Congressman and Civil Rights Icon John Lewis

DNC on the Passing of Congressman and Civil Rights Icon John Lewis

DNC Chair Tom Perez and DNC Black Caucus Chair Virgie M. Rollins released the following statement after the passing of U.S. Congressman and legendary civil rights leader John Lewis:

John Lewis is everything we aspire to be as people, as leaders, and as a party. He taught us how to dream, how to work, how to sacrifice, and of course, how to make good trouble. He modeled a profound humility and a limitless ability to forgive in the face of even the most heinous acts. His zeal for justice was only matched by his capacity for compassion. The last living speaker from the March on Washington, he provided a bridge from how far we’ve come and a road map to where we still need to be.

From beatings in Rock Hill to bloodshed in Selma, John Lewis risked his life to bring America closer to its founding ideals. He sat in for justice and stood up for equality, he marched for jobs and rode for freedom. And for three decades, he continued to wage the battle for civil rights in Congress – fighting to expand health care, reduce gun violence, and protect the sacred right to vote.

While many espouse the virtues of justice or a fidelity to true equality, it is the rare leader who inspires them in millions. John Lewis was one of those leaders. That crisp Sunday morning when he set foot on the Edmund Pettus bridge he knew what lay ahead. He understood that racism’s fists and segregation’s billy clubs would very well beat him to within an inch of his life, and if he survived he would likely wake up in a jail cell. But he stepped forward anyway, knowing full well the carnage that awaited him. He sacrificed himself so his country he loved so dearly could one day be worthy of such an act. The words of our constitution may have been written by revolutionists in 1776 but they were given meaning by a revolutionary in 1965.

In a moment where we have been driven apart, in a nation that feels as divided as it has ever been, let us allow John Lewis to bring us together one more time. Allow his memory to continue to lead us toward that more perfect union. His legacy reminds us that we are truly one nation, but it also demands that we continue to work toward completing our unfinished business, his unfinished business: Justice.

16 Jul
0

Democratic Leader Demands Governor Implement Statewide Mask Policy

Communications & Public Affairs
July 16, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
(405)962-7674 wes.carter@okhouse.gov

Democratic Leader Demands Governor Implement Statewide Mask Policy

OKLAHOMA CITY — House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, today released the following statement after Arkansas and more than half of the states in the United States have issued a statewide mask policy.

“Governor Stitt continues to declare his support for Oklahoma’s economy, while he does nothing to protect it or our citizens,” Virgin said. “His rhetoric says he wants to avoid another shutdown, but his policy continues to move us closer and closer in that direction.

“More than half the states in the union have implemented a mask policy, and Oklahoma’s governor, who has contracted COVID-19, has said he is ‘not thinking about a mask mandate at all.’ Not at all? Are the lives and safety of Oklahomans not even worth a thought?

“It is absurd for this to continue.

“The best shot we have at slowing this pandemic and keeping our economy open is implementing a statewide mask policy. Every day that we go without one is a day closer to Oklahoma businesses having to close their doors. It is time to stop talking about leadership and actually show some.”

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