Bill to name Atlanta post office for John Lewis close to law

September 21, 2022 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) — A bill to name Atlanta’s main post office after the late civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis is close to becoming law after passing the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

The bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent, going to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature. It passed the House on Feb. 1.

The measure was sponsored by Democratic U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams of Atlanta and Republican U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter of Pooler.

The facility is south of downtown near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Lewis was the youngest and last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists who organized the 1963 March on Washington, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He was best known for leading protesters in the 1965 Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Lewis was knocked to the ground and beaten by state troopers.

Lewis died in 2020 at age 80 after announcing he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He represented Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, centered in Atlanta, from 1987 until his death.

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Linda Earley Chastang, Lewis’ former chief of staff and interim president of a foundation formed to carry on the work of Lewis and his wife, Lillian, said Lewis often visited postal workers at the facility.

“He knew that the work was not always easy and that it could sometimes be quite challenging,” Chastang said in a statement. “He also knew that the Postal Service is a vital part of our nation’s business and social infrastructure and that the work of the men and women of the Postal Service is vitally important.”