Washington, D.C. (December 11, 2020) - The Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy, a post partisan think tank based in Washington, DC, commends the members of the House of Representatives including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip James E. Clyburn for passing a House Resolution to recognize the 150th Anniversary of Joseph Rainey’s swearing in as the first African American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Just as December 12, 1870 was a momentous day in our nation’s history, so too is this day 150 years later when we officially recognize the achievements of this legislative pioneer,” noted Bishop Garrison, co-founder and president of the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy. “As America continues to struggle to realize the dream of a more perfect union, let us continue to walk on the path that Joseph Rainey set forth during Reconstruction to ensure more inclusive governance and empower voices that truly reflect the diversity of our country.”
Born a slave in South Carolina in 1832, Joseph Rainey was sworn in as the first African American Congressional Representative on December 12, 1870, the first African American to preside over the House and the longest serving African American during the nation’s Reconstruction period. The House Resolution orders the designation of room H-150 as “The Joseph H. Rainey Room” to honor the historic life, career and legacy of Representative Joseph Rainey.
“In an increasingly contentious political environment we must prioritize opportunities to come together and celebrate the achievements of all of our nation’s heroes,” said Alaska State Representative Sharron Jackson. “The naming of the Joseph H. Rainey Room will serve as a constant reminder to those Representatives who fight for a brighter future, to reflect upon the bravery and dedication of those who have served before them and be grateful for their efforts.”
The Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy was founded in 2018 with the goal of honoring the Joseph Rainey legacy by empowering the voices of women, minorities and mavericks in the public policy arena. Our mission, to ensure a more inclusive and just future for all Americans is a cause for which Joseph Rainey fought, and one which our organization will continue to honor on December 12th, 2020 and for years to come.