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Councilmember Pinto Introduces Legislation to Honor Justice Ginsburg, Congressman John Lewis, and Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Posted by
Emmanuel Brantley
on
January 14, 2021
Councilmember Brooke Pinto, Ward 2

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, January 14, 2020

Contact: Emmanuel Brantley | ebrantley@dccouncil.us

Councilmember Brooke Pinto to Introduce Legislation Designating Roads in the District of Columbia in Honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Congressman John Lewis, and Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

From Left to Right: Associate Supreme Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Washington, DC – Today, Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto will introduce legislation to symbolically designate three roads in the District of Columbia in the memory of the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the honorable Congressman John Lewis, and the honorable Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"In light of the recent deadly riot on Capitol Hill, which included assaults on journalists, and the President’s lack of regard for justice, equality, and our free and fair election process, it is fitting that today we take this symbolic, but important action to acknowledge and honor three individuals who sacrificed so much to fight for our democracy and whose examples continue to inspire the kind of action this moment requires,” stated Councilmember Pinto.  

The "Jamal Khashoggi Way Designation Act of 2021" will be introduced in honor of the late Washington Post journalist and District resident, Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered by agents of the Government of Saudi Arabia in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, 2018. Through his journalism, Jamal Khashoggi was a fierce advocate for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. This designation of "Jamal Khashoggi Way" is located in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, on New Hampshire Avenue, between Virginia Avenue and F Street in Northwest. This designation will memorialize Mr. Khashoggi's life and further serve as a tribute to a fallen neighbor. This action is also an expression of support by District residents for the indispensable values of a free and independent press.

"Jamal Khashoggi knew that by shining a light on Saudi Arabia and seeking truth, he risked his freedom and, indeed, his life. Journalists around the world and here in America face similar dangers every day, and we must never let those who seek to intimidate them succeed, because when journalism is under assault, our freedom and democracy are under assault. Freedom of the press is fundamental to our democracy and safeguarding human rights where democracy does not exist. We must stand shoulder to shoulder with journalists," said Councilmember Pinto. "Everyone who visits the Saudi embassy will be reminded of Mr. Khashoggi's courage."  

The "John Lewis Way Designation Act of 2021" will be re-introduced in memory of the late, honorable Congressman John Lewis. A Democrat representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, John Lewis was born the son of sharecroppers in rural Alabama. Moved to overcome the discrimination and challenges he faced in the American south, Congressman Lewis, who was among the original 13 Freedom Riders, went on to become a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and one of the key organizers of the historic March on Washington in August 1963. The world also remembers his courageous march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday in March 1965 as one of the most significant turning points in the American civil rights movement.

In Congress, Mr. Lewis served from 1987 until his passing in 2020. This legislation will symbolically designate the portion of H Street extending between 15th and 17th Streets in Northwest as "John Lewis Way." This road was selected due to its proximity to the White House and Lafayette Square. The road also intersects with Black Lives Matter Plaza, a site where Congressman Lewis made one of his final public appearances and stood in solidarity with those calling for racial and social justice this past summer.

"Our nation lost a true hero with the passing of Congressman John Lewis, but his spirit, memory, and example live on within all of us. His ability to stand face-to-face with racial injustice and roll up his sleeves to begin to root it out is unmatched, and our world is better for it. May his legacy continue to inspire the next generation to fight for a just and equitable city and country," said Councilmember Pinto. "We are pleased to formalize his legacy with this designation. We will continue to show up, stand up, and speak up."

The "Ruth Bader Ginsburg Designation Way Act of 2021" will be introduced in memory of the late, honorable Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, affectionately known as “RBG,” and will symbolically designate Virginia Avenue, between Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway and New Hampshire Avenue in Northwest as "Ruth Bader Ginsburg Way."

This portion of Virginia Avenue was chosen because of its proximity to the Watergate complex where the late Justice made her home. Justice Ginsburg joined the Supreme Court in August 1993 after a successful appointment as Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. During her legal career, Justice Ginsburg fought fiercely for gender equality, voting rights and affirmative action, reproductive health rights, and equal justice under the law.  

"Justice Ginsburg was an incredibly bold trailblazer for social equality and ardent, reasoned advocacy on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens. Her work made significant strides in allowing for women in our country to be empowered to use their talents and gifts free from discrimination. I will forever be inspired by her vision and commitment," said Councilmember Pinto. "Always persistent in fighting to ensure equality, Justice Ginsburg reminds us of the imperative responsibility to use the law to better people’s lives, not inflict harm."

This week, the District government is working to ensure that all residents, visitors, business owners, and commuters in the District are safe in the days leading up to the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. All are encouraged to register for text alerts by texting INAUG2021 to 888-777 or visit https://inauguration.dc.gov/ to receive the latest information.

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