Remembering Congressman Stokes
by David Jacobs
Representative Louis Stokes (D-OH) passed away Tuesday after a battle with cancer at age 90. More than anyone, he was responsible for launching the nation’s healthy homes effort at HUD more than a decade ago and was a tireless supporter of our nation’s lead poisoning prevention program. Terry Allan (now commissioner at the Cuyahoga County Health Department) and Dr. Dorr Dearborn (now professor emeritus at Case Western) brought to his attention the importance of addressing housing-related health hazards and he took action.
I had the distinct honor of working with him while I was at HUD and he led the HUD appropriations subcommittee in the House; I knew him as a truly visionary leader, one of those rare individuals who really did achieve an ability to reach across the aisle and insist our country do the right thing and get things done.
Just a few years ago, he was honored in Cleveland for his healthy homes work and other achievements, and I remember him saying something like, “I don’t really know what all this fuss is about. I’m just a kid who grew up in public housing who wanted to do the right thing for our children.”
He was an inspiration to us all. See this link for more details.