Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement Wednesday commemorating the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington on August 28, 1963:
“Fifty years ago, on this very day, one of the most prolific leaders of all time led people of all social, economic, political and ethnic persuasions one step closer to forming ‘a more perfect union.’
“As thousands gather in our nation’s capital today, they gather not just to commemorate the historic 1963 March on Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King’s infamous ‘I Have a Dream Speech,’ they gather to remind us all that while, as a nation, we have made progress in furthering equality, and social and human rights, we have yet to reach that symbolic mountaintop.
“Today’s march shall serve as a reminder that we must re-commit to an agenda of full employment; livable wages; access to affordable housing; access to quality public education and health care, and the affordability of acquiring a college education.
“The civil rights movement always was, and continues to be, a movement dedicated to inclusion, equality, opportunity and justice. Racial and gender discrimination continues to exist, and serves as an impediment to the nation we have the potential to become.
“So on this day, let us reflect and remember the words of Margaret Mead: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.'”