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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 24, 2016 01:33 PM
From: Representative P. Michael Sturla
To: All House members
Subject: Condolence Resolution to honor the life of Nelson Polite, former Lancaster City Council President and civil rights leader
In the near future, I will be introducing a condolence resolution honoring the life of Nelson Polite Sr., who passed away on February 22, 2016, at the age of 92 in the same Lancaster home where he was born and lived all his life, except for four years while serving in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Mr. Polite was a former President of Lancaster City Council and a former Chair of the Lancaster City Planning Commission. He also was a member of the NAACP, the Boy Scouts (he formed Boy Scout Troop 15 in 1947), the Crispus Attucks Community Center, the Lancaster Recreation Commission, the United Way, the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite Masons (he was a 33rd Degree Mason, the highest honor in the Free Masons) and Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

During the civil rights era, Mr. Polite protested segregation in Lancaster. He helped to lead protests at the segregated Rocky Springs pool and outside downtown stores that offered few jobs to African-Americans. After the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., he walked the streets to urge calm. Mr. Polite was a civil rights icon who always worked for equality and fairness.

When asked last year what he would like his legacy to be, he replied: "I want people to say Nelson Polite was a good and useful person and he tried to do the best he could for his neighborhood.” He greatly succeeded in making the Lancaster community better. Mr. Polite truly was everything that is good about Lancaster.

Mr. Polite, whose wife Jean died in 2004, is survived by three children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important resolution.

Introduced as HR773