Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (18th District of TEXAS)
For Immediate Release Contact: Robin Chand
November 27, 2018 (202) 225–3816
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Commemorates the Birth of Mickey Leland by Joining Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis at the Dedication of the “Moving Monuments” Bus Mural
Jackson Lee—“The dedication of this ‘Moving Monuments’ bus, which will be used to serve citizens of Harris County, is but one small way in which we honor this giant, and is a visible tribute to his legacy.”
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Budget, and the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations was joined today by Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, and issued this statement commemorating the birthday of the late Mickey Leland, former United States Congressman for the Eighteenth District of Texas:
“Mickey Leland was a giant among men. An effective spokesman for the hungry in the Nation and throughout the world, his presence in soup kitchens and shelters instilled a passion for the poor that drove him throughout his career. During his six terms in Congress, he focused much needed attention on issues of health and hunger and rallied support that resulted in both public and private action.
“Mickey Leland began his life of public service as one of the ‘people’s five’—five minority candidates running for office in the first election following a decision in the Texas state legislature that allowed candidates to be elected as representatives for districts. That same year, he was elected one of the first African American members of the Texas House of Representatives. He later ran and won a seat in the United States House of Representatives, where he represented the citizens of the 18th Congressional District of Texas.
“When he came to Congress, Mickey had big shoes to fill, and he wasted no time proving he was worthy of the charge. As a member of House of Representatives, he co-authored legislation as a U.S. Representative that enacted the House Select Committee on Hunger, providing a single focus for hunger issues. Mickey Leland was an American hero who serves as an inspiration to all, particularly those in African American communities. As the successor to the congressional seat held by the estimable and honorable Barbara Jordan, Mickey Leland made clear that he would be continuing the tradition of social engineers-as-representatives of the Eighteenth Congressional District of Texas and that he would be a mainstay in the fight for justice, equality and progress, and that he himself was a trailblazer in Texas politics.
“It is fitting that as we commemorate the birth of Mickey Leland, we also dedicate a ‘Moving Monuments’ bus mural in his honor, which will be used to serve citizens of Harris County, and is one small way in which we honor this giant, and which will serve as a visible tribute to his legacy. It is a fitting honor for a public servant who was relentlessly concerned with civic engagement and the franchise. His commitment to fairness and equality is symbolized in the mural that adorns the bus, which bears his image, and bears his prolific quote: ‘I am much a citizen of this world as I am of my country.’
“As we celebrate his birthday, those of us who are honored to be guardians of his legacy know that with Mickey Leland, there is poignancy to his whole life, even in his final moments, for he died as he lived—in service of others. The accident that ended his life occurred as he was traveling to the African continent to feed those who lacked the means and resources to do so. It was this consideration towards those without and those in need that will remain as his enduring legacy. Beyond that, we are left with gratitude for the life that he lived, and our opportunity to live alongside him, during our brief shared time on this Earth.
Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat representing the 18th Congressional District of Texas, is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security and the Budget. She is a Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.