COLUMBUS— State Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon) issued a statement on the passage civil rights leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis, (D-GA 5th Congressional District).
“It is with profound sadness that Elizabeth and I learned last night that Rep. John Lewis died after his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. We lost a civil rights icon, a humanitarian, and a political trailblazer who never stopped believing that America could be as good as its promise. Our family is keeping Rep. Lewis’ family in our thoughts and prayers.
Rep. Lewis served as a beacon for morality, integrity, and as not only the conscience for the U.S. Congress, but indeed for the nation. He was a benevolent warrior who never waited for progress to happen, instead believing that change begins with each of us. Even in his early 20s, Rep. Lewis and his fellow freedom fighters embodied the belief that one should never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. Rep. Lewis believed so much in the ideals of our country that he was willing on many instances to risk his life through nonviolent action to help make us a more perfect union. Perhaps the greatest gift that he gave to us was his indefatigable belief in the best in humanity.
I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Rep. Lewis on several occasions. Each time, I was in deep admiration as he demonstrated what it means to be a selfless public servant. I was humbled to hear him talk about his tireless advocacy for social justice. He was truly a living legend and pioneer of the modern civil rights movement, who left us with so many invaluable lessons, including a challenge to continue to be better.
As we mourn his passing and celebrate his life, Rep. Lewis’ death represents yet another slow unraveling of our direct connection to transcendent leaders from the civil rights movement. While we unfortunately enter this next chapter in our history without him alongside us, we must honor his memory and quest for human progress, peace, and love, and continue our journey towards liberty, equality, and social justice for all.
Thank you, Rep. Lewis, for showing all Americans what it means to be a true servant leader. R.I.P," said Rep. Robinson.