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Metro Brief: Norton mourns passing of ‘native son,’ former Massachusetts Sen. Edward Brooke

District of Columbia

On January 12, 2015

For herself and D.C. residents, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton offered her deepest sympathy to Anne Brooke on the passing of former Massachusetts Sen. Edward Brooke, the nation’s first African-American popularly elected senator.

Senator Brooke, who was 95, grew up in LeDroit Park and attended Dunbar High School here in the District.

“The country has lost its first popularly elected African-American senator, and D.C. has lost its most distinguished native son,” Norton said.  “After serving in WWII, Sen. Edward Brooke had to leave his hometown to get a congressional vote and certainly to become a U.S. Senator.

“Sen. Brooke, however, never forgot his hometown and played an important role in the city’s quest for the House Voting Rights Act, when he lobbied his former colleagues in the Senate. D.C. residents won the House vote in both the House and the Senate until the NRA insisted on attaching an amendment eliminating all of D.C.’s gun laws, an offer that had to be rejected.

“Sen. Brooke was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009 and spoke robustly, without a note, with all the rigor he was known to bring to bear in the Senate. The country will remember Sen. Edward Brooke for his many contributions, especially for his work on housing and on housing discrimination. D.C. residents will never forget their native son, who got a vote for himself in Massachusetts and used his last years to try to do the same for the city where he was born and raised.”

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