“The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 85 years old today, if he had not been struck down at the age of 39, on April 4, 1968.
While Dr. King’s incredible legacy of triumphs in the vital area of civil rights reshaped America, and his personal sacrifice humbles us, he was taken from us before he could complete the second half of his mission.
At the time of his assassination, Dr. King had begun the “Poor Person’s Campaign,” which focused upon economic justice, or as Dr. King said, a transition from fighting for civil rights to fighting for human rights.
The focus of Dr. King’s final leadership campaign was upon creating full employment, passing federal legislation to bring affordable housing within reach of everyone, providing farm workers with the right of collective bargaining, and to fully fund education, Head Start, summer jobs, and bilingual education, and provide access to capital for small businesses in economically challenged areas and groups.
As always, Dr. King saw clearly to the core of our needs and to the promise of America, and challenged us to live our values.
We are still facing today the challenges that Dr. King saw were vital to overcome 45 years ago. The economic change he envisioned has not yet come to pass, but by following his example and working in partnership, we can make the change our community deserves.
Dr. King’s life exemplified the difference one person can make on the world, and the power we have when we work in partnership toward common goals. In a very real sense, we live today in the world that Dr. King made.
As we remember him and his legacy, I believe we must reexamine his goals and his work, and consider what each of us can do to move our communities toward completing Dr. King’s dream for us.”
About Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse Brooklyn community that consists of 318,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope. He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, Assistant Democratic Leader for Intergovernmental Affairs, and Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans.