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Statement from SEIU Local 121RN Executive Director on the passing of Civil Rights icon Rep. John Lewis

July 20, 2020


CONTACT: Terry Carter, (805) 312-0024

SEIU Local 121RN Executive Director Rosanna Mendez released the following statement:

"The Nurses and healthcare professionals of SEIU Local 121RN mourn the loss of civil rights champion Representative John Lewis. But we do more than mourn; we challenge ourselves to exemplify a man who dedicated his entire life to our nation and the health of its communities.

"He was among the youngest 'freedom riders' fighting segregation in the South. He was attacked by an angry mob and left for dead. He was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his 'I have a dream' speech. Lewis’ speech that day begins, 'We march today for jobs and freedom.'

"Our own fights today for good jobs and freedom—for economic and racial justice—continue to be rooted in that civil rights movement.

"Rep. Lewis challenged us to never give up those fights; to recognize our own obligation to take a stand and keep taking a stand for justice and equity in our workplaces and communities: 'Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.'

"He referred to those peaceful fights for freedom as getting into 'good trouble.'

"As our International Union tweeted out: May we never forget the power of #goodtrouble. Rest in power, Rep. #JohnLewis."


SEIU Local 121RN represents registered nurses and other licensed healthcare professionals in California. This member-led organization is committed to supporting optimum working conditions that allow nurses to provide quality patient care and safety.