Thursday, August 20, 2015

Conyers Grieves The Loss of CBC Co-Founder, Louis B. Stokes

DETROIT – Today, U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) released the following statement on the passing of former Congressional Black Caucus founding member former Rep. Louis B. Stokes (D-OH):

“Today we have lost one of the greatest trailblazers of public service, a co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, and I am proud to say – my good friend, Louis B. Stokes.”

“Louis was the true embodiment of a dedicated public servant who broke barriers throughout his distinguished career.  Having served as a public servant on the local and state levels, in 1969 Louis became the first African American to represent Ohio in Congress.  He served for 30 years in the House of Representatives and was the first African American to have a seat on the Appropriations Committee and chaired the Intelligence Committee.”

“During his tenure as a Representative, he knew that there was much more that could be done to enhance the quality of life for all African Americans. In 1971, I joined Louis and several other African American colleagues in forming the Congressional Black Caucus – the conscience of the Congress – to bring more awareness to issues impacting the advancement of black Americans.  Most notably,  he founded the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, which focused on increasing access to quality health care and raising awareness of the health disparities affecting African Americans.  To this day, the CBC Health Braintrust remains one of the most active elements of the annual legislative conference.”

“As a former Army veteran, he was a voice for the voiceless.  His extraordinary career resulted in positive changes for thousands of Americans, one of the greatest accomplishments a public servant can achieve.  I extend my sympathies to his wife, Jay, and children, Shelley, Angela, Chuck, and Lori, and their entire family at this difficult time.”
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