*(Via Wave Newspapers) – A local activist wants the city of Los Angeles to take immediate steps to honor civil rights icon John Lewis, who died July 17 at the age of 80.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, founder and president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, is calling on civic leaders to designate a public facility or a local landmark in Lewis’ name.
“Lewis traveled to Los Angeles often and championed civil rights causes in this city,” says Hutchinson. “Yet there is no public space named in his honor in L.A.” The petition campaign is timed with the start of the public viewing of Lewis who will lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington on Monday July 27.
“To honor John Lewis, we call on the L.A. City Council and Mayor [Eric} Garcetti to designate a public facility ‘John Lewis Square’ in Los Angeles,” Hutchinson said. “This is a fitting honor to his colossal fight for civil rights that had tremendous meaning for Los Angeles.”
“John Lewis was more than a civil rights icon and congressman. He set a national template for consistency, longevity and unswerving commitment to the fight for economic and social justice and political empowerment for all Americans.”
Lewis, who had represented Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1987, was an iconic civil rights activist widely considered the conscience of Congress. His death sparked an outpouring of heartfelt tributes from political and civil rights leaders from throughout the country.
“He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise,” former President Barack Obama wrote in a Medium post. “And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example.”
The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., who worked with Lewis on many of the same causes over the years, also had praise for his colleague.
“John Lewis, with his quiet courage and his forceful moral vision, pulled people with him,” Jackson wrote. “Elected to Congress, he put Congress on his shoulders and tried by example and by organizing to make it better.”
Hutchinson will announce Sunday, July 26 the launch of an online petition campaign calling on L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. City Council to designate a public place in Los Angeles John Lewis Square to honor the towering civil rights legacy of Lewis.
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