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Rep. Maxine Waters Statement on the Passing of Former Rep. Louis B. Stokes

August 19, 2015
Press Release

LOS ANGELES – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, released the following statement upon the passing of Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Founding Member and former Representative Louis B. Stokes:

“Yesterday, we lost yet another icon – my friend and former colleague Congressman Louis Stokes. Lou dedicated his life to public service and giving a voice to the voiceless, whether he was fighting to protect affordable housing or ensuring that America’s veterans were treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. Lou was a giant in the House of Representatives and in the community he served. 


“I especially enjoyed working with Lou to address the tragic impact of HIV/ADS in minority communities.  Together with the Clinton Administration and our colleagues in the CBC, Lou and I founded the Minority AIDS Initiative in 1998.  The Initiative continues to assist Black, Latino and other minority communities with the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS.


“It is my sincere hope that his legacy and the fond memories he leaves behind will be a source of comfort to Lou’s wife and family at this difficult time.”


Louis Stokes was the first African-American to represent Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives, and served in the House for fifteen terms. Prior to his election to Congress, Stokes was a distinguished attorney in Cleveland, and he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of civil liberties in Terry v. Ohio. In Congress, Stokes was a Founding Member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and served as a Chair of both the Intelligence Committee and Ethics Committee.