Senator Robert Byrd:
Remember him as a homeless advocate
Senator Robert Byrd, who died today at the age of 92, was a homeless advocate.
Because of Byrd’s leadership, the first major federal program to provide funds for people experiencing homeless became law. His support ensured enough votes to override a Presidential veto, and President Reagan reluctantly signed the bill into law on July 22, 1987.
The current McKinney-Vento Act remains a tribute to Byrd's work. He will be remembered for many things -- including the Ku Klux Klan membership he came to regret -- but he should be remembered for his appreciation of the potential and fallibility of humans, and the need for the government to look after its poorest residents.
Read the post at the National Coalition for the Homeless blog here.