Club Presents Louis Stokes with its 21st Harold Hitz Burton Award

The Club presented its 21st Harold Hitz Burton Award to Louis Stokes at the offices of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey on October 6 accompanied by a complement of friends and colleagues. Louis Stokes was the first African-American elected to Congress from Ohio and served his district in and around Cleveland for 30 years. The text of the Award is added to the end of this story.

In addition, Mayor Jackson of Cleveland issued a proclamation that was read at the lunch.

Louis Stokes was in good form and high spirits, and graciously accepted the Award. He then talked about his many years of service in the Congress and his views on the approaching elections. In particular he talked about the race for his seat, vacated by the untimely death of Stephanie Tubbs Jones; the recently named Democratic candidate is Marcia Fudge, mayor of Warrensville Heights. Club members asked Congressman Stokes questions about the Congressional votes on the financial troubles “bailout bill,” then roiling the House; he said he would have voted for it.      

Louis Stokes is now Senior Counsel at Squire Sanders and serves on the boards of both private and non-profit corporations.      

Previous Harold Hitz Burton Awards have been presented to George Voinovich, Frank Lausche, Howard Metzenbaum, Chapman Rose, and Frances Bolton, to name a few. Following is the text of the Award presented October 6:      

Cleveland Club of Washington, D. C.     

Harold Hitz Burton Award      
Distinguished Public Service

Presented to 
The Honorable Louis Stokes            

For thirty years as a Congressman from Cleveland, Louis Stokes made outstanding contributions both to his District and to the Nation in the fields of civil rights, equality for all citizens, and social and economic justice. He fought for a fairer America in which persons lives could be brighter and the whole Nation thereby move forward to a better future.      

The first African-American elected to Congress from Ohio and eventually the Dean of the Ohio Delegation, Louis Stokes worked to improve Congress and to make a more open and accountable nation.      

After distinguished service in Congress, he has continued to work for social and economic justice, particularly in the field of health care for all Americans.      

Veteran, Representative, teacher, advisor to corporations and non-profit organizations, he has been a champion and epitome of public service, for all of which reasons he is saluted and honored by his fellow Clevelanders here in Washington, D. C., this 6th day of October, 2008.