It's important to remember that today is more than simply a day off from work or school, it is a day for all of us to remember the important work done by Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout his life. Dr. King’s legendary heroism must be recalled each year around this time. A humanitarian, he dedicated his life to battling social injustice and was one of the most influential forces behind the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. In the state Assembly, I have tried to live up to his philosophy that we should act now when it comes to improving the lives of the citizens of our state.
The work of Dr. King is not over, a growing problem in New York and across the country is the ever-expanding gap between the wealthy and the middle class and poor. Combating income inequality and spurring upward mobility are defining issues of our time, and they were also central to Dr. King’s agenda. Increasing wages for hardworking families and creating more good-paying jobs must be the goal of every elected official, and it’s an issue that I will work diligently on in Albany in 2014.
Dr. King also placed a great emphasis on education, and so do I – providing our children with a sound education has always been one of my top priorities. Dr. King once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically ... intelligence plus character –that is the goal of true education.” Unfortunately, providing a top-notch education has become more and more challenging, especially for our high-need schools. Forcing teachers to do more with less, yet expecting better outcomes, is unrealistic at best. That’s why every year I call on our leaders to increase funding for our schools and work to ensure the needs of our educators and students are being met, in the spirit of Dr. King’s vision.
I leave you with this image of Dr. King along with a quote that I find especially meaningful, I hope you will share it with others and continue to spread Dr. King's message.
87th A.D. Assemblyman,
Luis R. Sepulveda