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Rep. John Lewis on Passing of African American Senator Edward Brooke

January 3, 2015
Press Release

“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.”

 

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