State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) today announced that she will introduce legislation officially creating “Louis Stokes Day” in honor of the late Cleveland-area congressman. February 23, the congressman’s birthday, will be the designated day of recognition. 

“He was the first black Democrat elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, paving the way for other black Democrats like myself to not only dream about holding office, but to be able to actually have the privilege of representing the people of Cleveland and the state of Ohio,” said Howse.

First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1968, Congressman Stokes was the first African American member of Congress from the state of Ohio. During his 15-term career at the Capitol, Congressman Stokes led the Select Committee on Assassinations that investigated the slayings of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., headed the Congressional Black Caucus, and was the first African American member on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

“It is important that Ohio remembers Congressman Stokes’ legacy and that our state continues to honor and recognize such a profound and incredible individual,” said Howse. 

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