Butterfield Celebrates the Life and Work of Congressman Alcee L. Hastings
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) issued the following statement after the passing of Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20) at his home in Florida early this morning:
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend, Congressman Alcee Hastings. This morning, the Congress lost a legislative giant who was beloved by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the state of Florida lost the Dean of its Congressional Delegation. Congressman Hastings was the longest serving Member of Congress from Florida, beginning his Congressional career in 1992 as the first African American elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction. He was also the first African American federal judge in Florida, receiving an appointment from President Jimmy Carter in 1979. In addition to these firsts in Florida, Congressman Hastings was also the first African American to be Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission. He was instrumental in my appointment to the Commission where I had the opportunity to witness first-hand his intellectual prowess and skill in international affairs as he promoted human rights, economic development, reginal security, and parliamentary diplomacy with our international partners. Congressman Hastings led a life devoted to public service and the State of Florida.
“I had the honor of serving as Congressman Hastings’ proxy last month and casting what we now know was his final vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. I will cherish that honor and our friendship for the rest of my life.”