Photos credit: Isseu Diouf Campbell
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the National Action Network in Harlem was a parade of politicians, elected and hopeful, each describing in their own words what the civil rights activist meant to them and how he inspired their life and work.
The event started at 1:30 p.m. and speakers followed one another for more than 4 hours.
The question is: If so many in leadership positions and able to make a difference in people’s lives embrace Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of justice and equal opportunity, how did we get to such a racially and economically divided city, state, and country in general?
Democrats who controlled Congress during the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency failed to create that promise of change that resonated with so many Americans who voted for Obama.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, cautioned the audience. Now that the White House, Congress and both NY Assembly and Senate are all Democrat-led, “Let’s see what is going to happen.”
The list of attendees and speakers included:
Rev. Al Sharpton
Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator
Charles Rangel, U.S. Representative
Carolyn Maloney, U.S. Representative
Tom DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller
Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor
Chirlane McCray, New York City First Lady
Jumaane Williams, New York City Public Advocate
Scott Stringer, New York City Comptroller
Brian Benjamin, New York State Senator
Kevin Parker, New York State Senator
Inez Dickens, New York State Assemblywoman
Nathalia Fernandez, New York State Assemblywoman
Carmen de la Rosa, New York State Assemblywoman
Ben Kallos, New York City Councilman
Robert Cornegy, New York City Councilman
Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President
Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
Darcel Clark, Bronx District Attorney
Eric Gonzalez, Brooklyn District Attorney
Melinda Katz, Queens District Attorney
Erica Ford, CEO of LIFE Camp
A march in Harlem followed the King Day Public Policy Forum.