John Lewis, an American Hero

Monday, July 20, 2020

For Immediate Release:

John Lewis, an American Hero

The following statement is from Wendy Fields, Executive Director of the Democracy Initiative.

“The member organizations of the Democracy Initiative join our nation and the entire world in mourning the death of Rep. John Lewis, an American hero who risked his life to make our country a better place.

“At this unique moment, Rep. Lewis’ own words ring truer than ever: ‘My dear friends,” he said in North Carolina in 2012, ‘Your vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union.’

“Sadly, we have not seen the end of discriminatory practices which aim to take power away from voters, especially in Black and brown communities. To honor John Lewis and his exemplary life, the U.S. Senate must immediately pass H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which has been languishing in Mitch McConnell’s legislative graveyard for more than 200 days.

“And, in November, we all have a responsibility to take action and make sure that every vote countsand every vote is counted.”


The Democracy Initiative is a coalition of 75 organizations with a collective 45 million members fighting for workers, civil rights, social justice and the environment. DI partner organizations are united in their commitment to realizing the promise of American democracy where all people have an equal seat at the governance table.