Assemblymember Bronson Highlights the Importance of Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a central figure in our nation’s history and his teachings continue to have a profound impact on today’s society. His passion for equality and opportunity for all, coupled with the courage with which he opposed social injustice, continue to serve as an example for us all. In honor of him, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year on Jan. 21.

Dr. King was one of the most influential forces behind the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. A man dedicated to battling social injustice, Dr. King inspired thousands into non-violent action to bring the plight of black Americans to the forefront of America’s conscience.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The richest nation on Earth has never allocated enough resources to build sufficient schools, to compensate adequately its teachers, and to surround them with the prestige our work justifies.” Education is the foundation of our society and unfortunately, many of our high-need schools are not getting the resources they need. We need to dramatically increase funding to our high-need schools to ensure our children get a sound education. This shouldn’t end after our children graduate high school. The best way to improve our communities and boost the local economy is to have a well-educated workforce. We need to expand access to higher education for those who want to get ahead. Every student who wants to go to college should be able to.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exemplified the true American spirit, never shying away from fighting against injustice and helping his fellow man. He once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

Currently, New York is not doing enough to help those who are living in poverty. No one who works a full-time job should be poor. However, that’s the situation many are facing. The current minimum wage of $7.25 is just not enough for people to make ends meet. I will continue the fight to raise the minimum wage and index it to the rate of inflation.

This year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day holds further significance, as it coincides with Presidential Inauguration Day. On Jan. 21, we will not only honor Dr. King’s legacy, we will watch the first black President of the United States take the oath of office for his second term. The day will serve as a reminder of how far our country has come, thanks largely to insightful and steadfast leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.