Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This day is very personal for me. As many of you know, I am a child of the civil rights movement. My mother marched for racial justice and equality when my sister and I were young girls being raised in Oakland. What my mother had, she gave to us in abundance: love, education, inspiration and hope. In the optimism of her struggle, she taught us to fight for what is best about our state and our nation— that though we may stumble and sometimes fall, this is a place where more often than not, we are given the chance to rise again.
Both my sister and I dedicated our lives to work every day for the civil rights of Californians. I made this decision so that I could fight for our essential civil right to live free from crime and fear in every neighborhood. I believe that our children have a right to safe schools and a quality education and that women and seniors have a right to live free from abuse in their homes. Homeowners have a right to protection from predatory lending and mortgage fraud, and workers have a right to organize and to have access to quality health care and safe working conditions.
The brave career of Dr. King ensured that fundamental civil rights were guaranteed by the courts. But while those rights have largely been secured in the law, they have yet to be fully realized. In order to achieve true equality for all, it is up to us to see that those laws are enforced. It is our duty to make sure that Dr. King’s dream is ultimately achieved.
Dr. King’s tireless work also reminds us to never forget those that are suffering across the globe. Please consider helping relief efforts in Haiti by contributing to one of the charities on the White House Haiti Relief Page.
Coretta Scott King once said, “Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.”
Our generation is fearless. We are tireless, and I am confident that we will work not only on this day, but every single day until the full promise of justice and opportunity is secured for our children and our children’s children.
Today we celebrate Dr. King in name, but we must also strive to honor him every day in action.
– Kamala Harris, San Francisco District Attorney
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