Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released this statement following the passing of former Congressman Major Owens, a long-time representative of Brooklyn, New York:
“Today, our country mourns the loss of a devoted public servant who dedicated his life to lifting up the voices of those who too often go unheard. From the classroom to the halls of Congress, Congressman Owens taught all of us what it means to serve with strength, compassion, and commitment to the public good.
“Congressman Owens grew up fighting to open the doors of opportunity to his community. From his time as the head of New York City’s Community Development Agency to his 24 years of service in Congress, he led the fight to reduce poverty and strengthen the economic security of America’s middle class. As the Ranking Member on the House Subcommittee for Workforce Protections, he fought to increase the minimum wage while blocking attempts to roll back overtime pay and suppress labor unions. He was an instrumental force in securing the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, and public life.
“Congressman Owens spent his last years at Medgar Evers College, molding the next generation of leaders who will carry on his legacy of service to the American people. To work alongside Major Owens was to be inspired by his passion and his belief in a brighter future. It was an honor and privilege to know him as a colleague and as a friend. We only hope it is a comfort to his wife, Maria, and his five children that so many share in their loss at this sad time.”