Senate honors the legacy of MLK

Senator Mark SchoeslerSenator Rodney TomToday the Washington State Senate joined the nation in honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. by passing a resolution recognizing his contributions to the nation. Senate Resolution 8604, honoring King’s life and legacy, passed the Senate unanimously.

“How poetically fitting it is that we celebrate the lifelong work of Dr. King to achieve a color-blind society on the same day that the nation recognizes the inauguration of the first black president to his second term,” said Sen. Rodney Tom, the Senate Majority Leader.

“I can think of no better way for Washington legislators to honor the legacy of Dr. King than by pulling together, regardless of race, creed, national origin and political affiliation, to address the real concerns of all Washingtonians.

“I am committed to doing everything in my power to focus the Senate on those issues which unite us – making it easier to create and maintain jobs; creating a Twenty-first Century education system to provide the opportunity for all citizens to prosper and care for their families; and a sustainable budget that puts first things first, is good for middle-income families and protects our most vulnerable.”

Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler of Ritzville called on his colleagues to keep King’s dream moving forward.

“Our Declaration of Independence states that we consider it self-evident that all men are created equal,” said Schoesler. “Abraham Lincoln led this nation through a painful war and period of reconstruction to begin the process of living up to that national creed, and Dr. King worked most of his adult life to remind us of how far we still had to go to achieve that dream.

“Today the dream seems closer than ever, but it is still a dream. Anyone who says ‘the dream’ has been achieved is perhaps blissfully naïve; anyone who fails to see how far the dream has come does a disservice to all Dr. King and those who followed him have achieved.”

The two leaders pointed out that the test of King’s dream is the realization of equal opportunities for all citizens to be secure in their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

“In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘we may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now,’” said Schoesler. “We must make sure that all students, regardless of their zip code, have a quality education; that every person who is able and willing to work can find a job that offers them worth and dignity, and that we as a state government will budget in a way that is sustainable, responsible and unleashes and encourages the potential of every individual.”