O'Brien acknowledges lasting significance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s example

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Sen. O’Brien wishes to encourage the people of his district and throughout New York State to stop and reflect on the life of civil rights icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, in recognition of the federal holiday commemorating the day of his birth.

“Dr. King’s passionate eloquence continues to be an inspiration to me,” Sen. O’Brien said. “In Rochester, we’re proud to have been the home of King’s forbearer, Frederick Douglass. Like Douglass, Dr. King inflamed the hearts of those who heard him speak with a passion for social justice. We should reflect not only on Dr. King and his sacrifice, but also the wider causes of an end to intolerance and poverty that are still not settled issues,” he said.

Sen. O’Brien encouraged participation in the MLK Day of Service, an initiative started in 1994 by Congress that has been adopted by a number of community and social organizations. A form at mlkday.gov enables users to look up volunteer opportunities by ZIP code.

As Dr. King said, “Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Sen. O’Brien agreed. “Change most often comes through tiny, incremental processes, and all contributions matter. I hope that this holiday acts as a reminder of how we must commit ourselves to facing the challenges our state and country face with compassion and respect,” he said.


Sen. O’Brien represents the 55th district in the Senate, which is made up of the eastern half of Monroe County and the western half of Ontario County, including much of the city of Rochester.

Media contact:

Thomas J. Morrisey
Communications Director
office: (585) 223-1800
e-mail: tjmorris@nysenate.gov