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Best Local Politico

John Lewis

Too often, politicians talk the talk and then, when it comes time to walk the walk, they scurry away into their little holes. John Lewis, now in his eighth term as congressman, is a refreshing exception. First and foremost, he is a civil rights icon. In 1963, Lewis, then just 23, spoke at the March on Washington. Two years later, Lewis and Hosea Williams led 600 civil rights marchers across a bridge in Selma, Ala., into the waiting batons of state troopers. Today, Lewis is deputy chief Democratic whip, one of the most powerful legislators in the House of Representatives. This year, he's sponsored legislation as grand as a bill that would create a National Museum of African-American History and Culture within the Smithsonian Institution. He also is working to enhance deductions for corporations that donate computer technology to community and senior centers. More importantly, Lewis has retained his principles and continues to fight for the same ideals, but he has never allowed the injustices he's seen and suffered to give way to unreasoned anger. That strength of character is rare in Congress.

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