ASSEMBLY DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP ON MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY 2012

Oliver, Green, Greenwald, Wisniewski, Johnson & Prieto Recall King Legacy

(TRENTON) – Assembly Democratic leadership released the following statements Monday on Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic):
“Dr. King once said, ‘Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve,’ and today I urge everyone to celebrate Dr. King’s sentiment, but not just for today. Let’s do it every day of the year. We all know Dr. King stood for equality and opportunity. We all know he stood for dignity. And we all know that while we have made strides toward making his dream rarity, we still have lots more work to do.
“Let us all commit to moving forward with the goal of confronting the social, education and economic problems that have proven impediments to making Dr. King’s dream reality. Let’s do the right thing, together, to confront inequality and poverty and its adverse consequences. Let’s embrace the greatness Dr. King saw in each and every one of us, and let’s do it each and every day.”
Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset):
“Today we remember the remarkable life of Dr. King and all that he stood for, but let’s also double our commitment to fight every day for the equality and fairness Dr. King stood for so strongly. His dream of a better America inches closer, but we still most overcome great difficulties such as the economic problems that unfairly hit some communities harder than others.
“Dr. King said, ‘Equality means dignity. And dignity demands a job and a paycheck that lasts through the week.’ He was right then and he’s right now, and that’s why we cannot relent in our goal for a better New Jersey. And, unequivocally, that means a better New Jersey for everyone.”
Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden):
“Few people have had a more profound and long-lasting impact on American life than Dr. King, and for that we’re all grateful. His courage and conviction to confront what was immoral and bring about change is an example to us all, and we should strive to summon that courageous spirit as we confront the problems facing our state and nation in this difficult time.
“Dr. King believed that a genuine leader was not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus. That’s a belief that we can all embrace to build a better New Jersey that puts social and economic equality and opportunity – whether it be a job or a quality education or reliable access to health care – within reach of everyone.”
Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex):
“Dr. King expressed the idea that ‘all labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.’ With that in mind, let’s commit to working together – no matter our background, no matter our viewpoints – to finally make Dr. King’s idea of equal opportunity for everyone more than just a dream.
“Throughout New Jersey and America today, scores of people will devote themselves to Dr. King’s memory through the greatness of community service, but the painstaking part is keeping that spirit alive throughout the year so we can confront the difficulties we face. If we can do so, we will accomplish the excellence Dr. King sought. We can build a stronger New Jersey. It is a worthy goal for all of us.”
Assembly Conference Leader Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen):
“Dr. King expressed the thought that ‘If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.’ Let’s embrace that as our shared goal. Let’s make ‘moving forward’ our constant commitment.
“We much to accomplish to make true equality commonplace. Too many people worry about getting a job or being able to get quality health care or an education. We cannot stand idle. Let’s, as Dr. King implored, keep moving forward.”
Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen):
“We know we face great challenges as we endeavor to make Dr. King’s righteous ideals a reality. The obstacles that even now still block equal opportunity for everyone are steep and heavy, yet not insurmountable if we truly commit to ourselves to work together to find ways to promote community service and policies that steer us toward social and economic equality.
“And all of us can make this commitment. Dr. King said that in order to bring about change ‘you only need a heart full of grace.’ and ‘a soul generated by love.’ Those are qualities we all can bring out, no matter where we stand on the difficult issues of the day. Let’s put them to good use to benefit us all.”