Senator O'Brien reflects on 50th anniversary of March on Washington, Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today, Senator Ted O’Brien joins millions of Americans in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the delivery of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“Dr. King's speech still captivates us today through his courage and hopeful vision for a better future for the next generations. However, the struggle for equality among many sectors of the population continues,” said Senator O’Brien.

“We must continue to work together to not only abolish any remnants of prejudice and racism, but also to ensure that all people are guaranteed their inalienable rights and freedom. Whether it is through strengthening workplace equality or raising New York’s minimum wage, it is clear that we have made progress as a society, but even more clear that there is still progress to be had.”

Dr. King’s speech, and the March on Washington it was delivered during, are credited with helping to bring about the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Over 200,000 demonstrators came to Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963, calling for those protections along with federal job training programs for the unemployed and strengthened anti-workplace discrimination rules.

“We have dismantled much of the legally-defined segregation and racism that existed half a century ago, although the changing of men's hearts and minds has, sadly, come much more slowly,” said Senator O’Brien.


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
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office: (585) 218-0034