Sending Office: Honorable Steve Cohen
Current Cosponsors: John Duncan, Sheila Jackson Lee, John Lewis, Alma Adams, Gwen Moore, Karen Bass, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Danny K. Davis, Sanford Bishop, Grace Napolitano, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bobby Rush, Bill Pascrell, Lloyd
Doggett, Sean Patrick Maloney, Mike Capuano, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Cooper, Don Beyer
On February 1, 1968, Memphis sanitation workers Echol Cole, 36, and Robert Walker, 30, climbed inside a garbage truck amid putrefying trash and dead chickens in a driving rain and were crushed to death when the compactor malfunctioned. Twelve days later,
frustrated by the city’s response to the latest event in a long pattern of neglect and disrespect for its black employees, 1,300 black men from the Memphis Department of Public Works went on strike.
Sanitation workers demanded recognition of their union, better safety standards, and higher wages. Their fight – symbolized by strike placards reading “I AM A MAN” – brought Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Memphis. On April 4, 1968, during the labor dispute,
Dr. King was assassinated on the balcony outside his room in the Lorraine Motel, now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum.
I will be introducing a bipartisan resolution, today, commemorating the death of Cole and Walker, the sanitation workers’ strike, and the assassination of Dr. King, and I invite you to join me by cosponsoring.
If you have any questions, please contact Don Andres (Don.Andres@mail.house.gov or 5-3265) in my office.
Congressman Steve Cohen
Member of Congress
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