WASHINGTON – January 20, 2020 — Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, issued a statement on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which she celebrated at a variety of commemorative events across the 43rd District:
“Today we honor one of the world’s most impassioned freedom fighters and ‘drum majors for justice’: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. With his powerful, dignified, and transformative leadership of the Civil Rights Movement, his soul-stirring sermons and speeches, and his prophetic ‘dream’ of a day when men and women would ‘not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,’ Dr. King made the ultimate sacrifice in order to force America to live up to its promise of equality and justice for all.
“Dr. King and countless other civil rights heroes were harassed, beaten, jailed, and lived under the constant threat of death, and in doing so, secured the historic passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. More than 50 years later, we all have a responsibility to continue the fight for justice and equality. With nearly 568,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night, we must fight for the House and Senate passage of my bill, H.R. 1856, the Ending Homelessness Act, which would provide $13.2 billion to end homelessness in America and get our veterans, seniors, and children off the street. We must continue to fight against efforts at the Supreme Court where one of the largest media companies in the world, Comcast, is seeking to undermine the ability for entrepreneurs who have been victims of racial discrimination to bring forth lawsuits and have their rights enforced by the courts as guaranteed by the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and Section 1981 of the Act – a move that is strongly opposed in a House resolution I led that is supported by the Congressional Black Caucus and the civil rights community. We must continue to demand justice for black and brown youth who are being killed with impunity at the hands of the police, and fight for comprehensive criminal justice reform. We must continue to fight against Republican efforts to destroy Obamacare and protections for preexisting conditions like diabetes and heart disease, which disproportionately impact African Americans and people of color. We must continue to address the wealth gap, confront the debilitating student loan debt that is denying our young people the ability to experience the economic opportunity they were promised upon earning a college degree, and demand that our children and residents of cities like Flint, Michigan and Newark, New Jersey have clean drinking water and clean air to breath. Furthermore, we must continue to lead the fight against the dangerous and failed leadership of a now impeached president and an irresponsible administration that have no respect for the Constitution and pose a threat to our progress and that for which Dr. King stood.
“On Dr. King Day and every day, let us reflect upon the famous letter from a Birmingham jail in which he wrote, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’ and honor his rich legacy by recommitting ourselves to his fight and the ongoing struggle for peace, equality, and justice for all.”