Georgia’s Cities Remember John Lewis & Continue His Legacy

Vince Williams

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

John Lewis was more than a congressman and Civil Rights leader; he was an American hero and a moral compass for leaders of all walks of life. The effect he had on the state of Georgia, the South and the nation itself cannot be overstated. In these times of racial tension and unrest, Lewis’ everlasting impact, tireless work and legacy serve as inspiration for the leaders of Georgia’s cities to have the courage to speak up for Georgians who depend on their elected officials to create peaceful and equitable communities.
Congressman Lewis spent his life working to improve our country. As a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, he fought to make America a safer, more just place. "In the early days of the movement," he said, "I talked about how civil rights leaders should take the lead in creating a sense of community where everyone lived together, black and white, in creating a place where people can live, work, play in harmony: the Beloved City."
Congressman Lewis was one of us, a former city council member (Atlanta, elected in 1980), who fought for greater transparency and neighborhood control. He continued in his passion for public service and love for Georgia when he was elected in 1986 to the U.S. Congress, a position he held for over three decades. Known as “the conscience of Congress” because of his passionate support of causes such as healthcare reform, education, voting rights and more, Lewis never stopped fighting for justice.
Though there is unquestionably still much work to be done to address systematic racism and inequity, much of the progress we have made as a nation would not have been possible without Congressman Lewis. GMA’s Equity and Inclusion Commission—in concert with cities’ efforts and strong actions—is striving to continue this work and build on Lewis’ legacy. As he demonstrated through his life, together, we can make a difference.