Today, we commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King preached love, justice, and service, and stood up in the face of adversity to fight for a more just and compassionate society.
Dr. King spent his life combating the violence of oppression with the passion and power of peaceful resistance. His risked and ultimately gave his life in the hopes of creating a better world for all of our children. It is thanks to his unwavering bravery and outstanding efforts that I am able to serve today as your Senator and as the Leader of the State Senate Democrats.
While we have come a long way in the fight for equality, there is still much more we must accomplish to create a truly just society. We cannot allow divisive policies and bigotry to imperil our democracy and endanger our way of life.
It is incumbent on us to continue Dr. King’s legacy and assume the mantle of responsibility to build a fairer state and nation. We must reject hate and bigotry and stand against those who seek to divide us.
Dr. King’s wisdom continues to ring true today as he noted: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
It is in the spirit of this great legacy that I defend the rights and well-being of ALL New Yorkers. That’s why I will continue to fight for quality and equal education for all our students, comprehensive criminal justice reform, voter empowerment, and greater economic opportunity.
The vibrancy of our democracy and the health of our communities depend on our commitment to the values of justice and equality. We can only fulfill the promise of equality if we remain true to our beliefs and help pick up our neighbors when they fall. As Dr. King said, “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”
As we reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, we should renew our commitment to each other and work together to realize his vision of a fairer, more just society.