LCCR Mourns Loss of Senator Paul Wellstone, Champion of the Poor and Disadvantaged

Media 10.25,02

Washington, DC ? The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights joins the nation in mourning the death of Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife Sheila and their daughter Marcia.

As an unabashed liberal, he was a leader among leaders on the issues the LCCR advocated for — civil rights, increases in the minimum wage, education reform, and welfare and health care reform. Some colleagues remembered Wellstone as a “happy warrior,” comparing him to the late Hubert Humphrey, a legend in Minnesota politics, and another champion of civil rights.

Wade Henderson, Executive Director of the LCCR, said: “On behalf of the 180 organizations in the civil rights coalition, I want to express our deepest sympathy to Senator Wellstone’s sons and other family members for their tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and please know that we mourn with you the loss of a great friend and fellow advocate for social justice. The Senate, Minnesota, and the country have lost a truly great American.”

William Taylor, a Vice Chair of the LCCR said: “Senator Wellstone was a wonderful senator, friend and human being. He was widely viewed as the conscience of the senate, which was recently demonstrated in his vote in opposition to the resolution on Iraq, a vote he knew might hurt him politically. He had a passionate interest in education, and in health care, specifically mental illness and he worked tirelessly to have mental illness covered under Medicare and Medicaid. His wife Sheila shared his passion for social justice and was in the forefront of the fight against violence against women.”

Paul Wellstone was a faithful supporter and leader on issues of social justice, human and civil rights, civil liberties and equal opportunity. The Senator’s consistent support for these issues always earned him a 100% LCCR voting record.

Anyone working to advance equal opportunity and justice owes a debt of gratitude to Sen. Paul Wellstone, and the best way we can all honor him is to reaffirm our own commitment to the causes to which he dedicated his life and to work to rekindle the nation’s commitment to equality of opportunity for all. He would have expected no less from each and every one of us.