Atlanta mayor evokes John Lewis: 'The baton has now been passed to each of us'

Atlanta mayor evokes John Lewis: 'The baton has now been passed to each of us'
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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance BottomsKeisha Lance BottomsCOVID-19 — is everyone receiving the benefits of urban parks equally? The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's big speech attracts widespread praise Atlanta mayor evokes John Lewis: 'The baton has now been passed to each of us' MORE (D) delivered an impassioned call to action during the final night of the virtual Democratic National Convention, urging Americans watching at home to exercise their constitutional right and vote.

In her urging, Bottoms paid tribute to civil rights icon Rep. John LewisJohn LewisDemocrats urge Biden to resist filibuster, court-packing calls Rep. Bill Pascrell named chair of House oversight panel The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden goes on offense MORE (D-Ga.), who recently passed away.

"He walked gently amongst us — not as a distant icon, but as a God-fearing man, doing what he could do to fulfill the as-yet unfulfilled promise of America," Bottoms said.

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After being one of the youngest leaders of the civil rights movement, Lewis spent decades in Congress, vehemently fighting for expanded voting rights.

"People often think they can’t make a difference like our civil rights icons, but every person in the movement mattered — those who made the sandwiches, swept the church floors, stuffed the envelopes," Bottoms said. "They, too, changed America. And so can we. The baton has now been passed to each of us."

She added: "We have cried out for justice, we have gathered in our streets to demand change, and now we must pass on the gift that John Lewis sacrificed to give us, we must register, and we must vote."

The expansion of mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic has become a bitter battle between Democrats and Republicans. The majority of states have, however, loosened voting restrictions in some way in light of the pandemic.

Bottoms speech was rooted in the idea of unity, one of the main ideas that Democrats have centered their convention around.