Politics

John Conyers is saluted as a 'political pioneer' and 'fighter for civil rights'


October 27, 2019, 9:22 PM by  Alan Stamm

On the national stage, John Conyers stood tall as dean of the House -- its longest-serving member until staff harassment complaints sent him packing at the end of 2017. To Michigan colleagues and hometown admirers, the former congressman who died Sunday is recalled as a forceful advocate for equity and justice.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., salutes his "life of courage and dedicated service to Michigan and our country."

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, elected last November to the seat he held 52 years, tweets: "He never once wavered in fighting for jobs, justice and peace. We always knew where he stood on issues of equality and civil rights in the fight for the people."

Sunday's loss is the second this month of a black Democrat with a significant national impact. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, a 23-year congressional veteran, died 10 days earlier at age 68. He chaired the House Oversight Committee, as Conyers did from 1989-95.

Rep. Brenda Lawrence, a former Southfield mayor (2001-15) now in her third House term, tweets:

First-term Rep. Debbie Dingell of Dearborn ranks him with another former House dean -- her husband, who died in February and had served 60 years on Capitol Hill:

Rep. Dan Kildee of Flint salutes Conyers as "a fighter for civil rights" who "helped to advance many important causes, including expanding voting rights and equal rights for all Americans."

Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, a senator from California, says the Detroiter "reminded us to fight for jobs, justice and peace and ensured we never forget Martin Luther King Jr.'s sacrifice. We carry on his fight." (Conyers introduced a bill that helped make Martin Luther King Day a federal holiday on the third Monday of January since 1986.)

Social media tributes also flow from ordinary Americans who admire the 90-year-old former congressman, such as this Texan: 

A NBC News assignment desk assistant in Washington, D.C., shows Conyers leading Stevie Wonder onto a House elevator in an undated photo:

Related:

Former Detroit Congressman John Conyers Dies at 90



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