McGovern Statement on Passing of Former Congressman John Olver of Massachusetts

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, issued the following statement on the passing of former Congressman John Olver of Massachusetts:

“I’m deeply saddened to learn of the death of my friend and longtime colleague, Congressman John Olver. A humble public servant with the heart of an activist, John was truly a champion for the people of Western and Central Massachusetts. His quiet demeanor and wry sense of humor concealed a razor-sharp understanding of the issues facing the American people and a deep faith in our ability to solve them together.

“John and I were arrested together twice while protesting the genocide in Darfur outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. The first time I asked him, I noted that we would likely be arrested and spend hours in jail. He agreed right away—his conscience would allow no less. The second time, I didn’t have to ask. John knew what was right and just did it. It was an honor to share a cell with him. His integrity and support of human rights remains a source of great inspiration for me and so many others around the world.

“Closer to home, John’s track record of accomplishments speaks for itself—on issues from clean energy to environmental protection to public transportation, he was a workhorse who went above and beyond to get the job done. Lisa and I extend our deepest condolences to his daughter Martha and join those across the Commonwealth and the country who mourn his loss.”