With Abner Mikva’s passing, we have lost one of the greatest public servants of our time. Throughout his career, Abner fought for unpopular decisions and for those whose voices needed to – but could not – be heard. He championed for minority voting rights, civil liberties, free speech, and equality.

Not only was he involved in the judicial and political careers of many, including President Obama, but he created the Mikva Challenge, which will continue to inspire, empower, and encourage young people for years to come. The first political campaign I ever worked on was Abner’s Congressional campaign in Illinois’ 10th District, and I later had the privilege of working with him in the White House during the Clinton administration.

Abner was not only a great Chicagoan, but a great American. The thoughts and prayers of Amy and I are with Zoe and the entire Mikva family.

-Mayor Rahm Emanuel, 7/5/16