D.C. native Edward Brooke received a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the U.S.
D.C. native Edward Brooke got a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the U.S. The former Republican Senator from Massachusetts was honored for his efforts in the struggle for voting rights in the nation's capital.
Brooke became the first African-American popularly elected to the Senate and served from 1967 to 1979. D.C. was where he was born and raised, and even stayed for college, so he fought for issues on its behalf. At a Capitol ceremony that included President Obama, Brooke urged the current Republican Senate leader to do something for people in need and put aside partisan politics.
"We can't worry about that Mitch McConnell," said Brooke. "We can't worry about those things. We can't worry that you all can't get together. We have got to get together. We have no alternative. There is nothing left."
Brooke also told lawmakers and others in attendance that he'd turn in his honor if Congress passes the D.C. voting rights bill. Brooke will turn 90 this week.
Sara Sciammacco reports...