I echo Rep. Cedric Richmond’s statement that Steve Scalise does not have a racist bone in his body.

I met Steve when we were both members of the Young Leadership Council in the 1990s. We worked together in establishing and maintaining a recreation program for children in the B.W. Cooper housing community. Every Saturday, Steve was there, working with kids, coaching teams and trying to positively impact the lives of people in his community. Mind you — his community — not his voting district. Steve’s actions were not motivated by political calculation. They were motivated by his character, decency and desire to reach children in a positive way.

A lot of politicians talk the talk. Steve walked the walk. I will judge Steve by the character I’ve seen him display since we met nearly 20 years ago.

Shaun Clarke

partner, Smyser Kaplan & Veselka LLP