Statement on Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following
statement today in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 75th
we celebrate the 75th birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
And this weekend, we honor his life and legacy. Dr. King challenged
the conscience of our country and affirmed our dearest values. He
lived his life in the belief that 'liberty and justice for all'
is not just a pledge, but a fundamental principle that must guide
us as a people.
of Dr. King and the millions of ordinary Americans who fought for
civil rights, our country has made significant progress. The National
Urban Leagues 2003 report on the State of Black America reveals
that more black families have joined the middle class and that the
number of black businesses is increasing. Census Bureau figures
indicate that African Americans are graduating from college in greater
"While celebrate those successes, we cannot rest. As Dr. King
said more than 40 years ago at the 1963 March on Washington, we
must 'remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time
to engage in the luxury of cooling off
.Now is the time to
make justice a reality for all Gods children.'
believe that now is the time to end the national disgrace of one
in five children living in poverty; more than 30 percent of these
children are African American.
that now is the time to create jobs for the 9 million Americans
who are unemployed but want to work. The African American unemployment
rate was in double digits for all of 2003, and that is simply unacceptable
as we begin a new year.
that now is the time to provide a quality education for every child
and to fully fund initiatives that students need to succeed.
believe that now is the time to protect our great democracy. In
Texas, Democrats are fighting the redistricting plan that will undermine
the Voting Rights Act for minority Americans all across the country.
challenged us. Let us honor him by building a country of opportunity
that values our beautiful diversity, where all people have the chance
to realize their God-given potential. Dr. King lifted our hearts,
he improved our lives, and he called on us to live up to our beliefs.
Let us all commit to building an America that makes 'justice a reality
for all of God's children.'"