Rep. John Lewis on Passing of African American Senator Edward Brooke
“Sen. Edward Brooke (R-MA) was the first African American elected to the Senate since the Reconstruction, and he was one of a kind. He was never partisan or wedded to party interests. He was a champion for whatever he believed was right. He was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and added an important open-housing requirement to the act. He also crafted the Brooke Amendment a year later which capped the financial responsibility of public housing applicants to no more than 25 percent of a poor person’s income.
Sen. Brooke’s charismatic presence, his intellect, integrity, and his impeccable manners, helped him rise above the limitations of race and party politics in a quest for a just and free society. He became the gold standard for politicians who followed his rise to power. Sen. Brooke made a lasting contribution to our society because he was a persistent and consistent voice for social justice, a champion for those who are left out and left behind. He will be deeply missed.”