Today we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and remind ourselves of the tireless struggle for equality that defines our history and the path forward. Dr. King’s vision extended beyond the civil rights movement for which he is rightfully remembered; he stood for the dignity of every individual, the strength of community, and the unyielding pursuit of justice.
With negativity and divisiveness coming to define our national politics, the words inscribed on the South Wall of Dr. King’s monument in Washington D.C. maintain their timeless significance: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
But more than just remember and honor, we must act.
In California – and in our region specifically – we are on the vanguard of issues where we must demonstrate the same resolve, fearlessness, and commitment to change that Dr. King is remembered for today. His call to action echoes today and compels us to do more to address the climate crisis, protect LGBTQ+ youth from violence, fight for reproductive freedom, and make a demonstrable impact on the housing and homelessness crisis – which disproportionately impacts the Black community.
In 2014, I helped President Obama launch My Brother’s Keeper. I also chaired the Jobs, Education & Workforce Committee for America’s mayors. Both initiatives targeted persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and worked to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. We helped lay the foundation for the College Promise campaign, which President Obama later asked me to help lead alongside Dr. Jill Biden. Together, we helped create over 400 initiatives across the country to guarantee a tuition-free college education for graduating local high school seniors.
In the spirit of Dr. King, let us continue to build bridges, embrace our diverse voices, and advance policies that uplift every member of our society. Together, we can create a future that reflects the full spectrum of our humanity, a future where every individual can live with dignity and pride. Let’s honor Dr. King not just today, but every day, by working towards a world of equity and love.
Candidate for State Senate District 3