Assemblyman Santabarbara: Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy by Serving Your Community

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is our most prominent and revered civil rights leader because of his selfless, undaunted service to the nation. Every year on the third Monday in January, we commemorate his birthday with Martin Luther King Jr. Day and reflect on how well we follow his teachings in our own lives. In his immortal words, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”

A man dedicated to battling social injustice, Dr. King was one of the most influential forces behind the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. While preaching non-violence, he brought the plight of African-Americans to the forefront of America’s conscience and was able to achieve monumental strides in the fight for equality and justice for all Americans. In 1994, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was designated a national day of service.

We can honor his legacy by following in his footsteps and helping our community. There are many ways to give back, such as picking up trash in your neighborhood, helping at a food pantry or volunteering at a senior center. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” Service to your community should not happen just on the one day; it should be a part of your life.

Community service allows us to connect with and meet new people, while gaining valuable experiences and skills. I was inspired to give back to the community after the outpouring of support my family received when my son was diagnosed with autism and I can tell you first-hand there is no greater feeling than a neighbor saying your help is valued.

If you would like more ideas on how to serve your community or information about Martin Luther King Jr. Day, visit As always, if you have any question or concerns about this or any other important community issue, feel free to contact my office at 843-0227 or email