NYC Public Advocate's Statement Commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 17th, 2022

Press Release

"Today we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a righteous agitator and an inspiration to myself and so many others in our work toward justice. We cannot allow some to sanitize Dr. King's legacy, to misrepresent his message or his methods as a revolutionary for a just and equitable society. This is especially important as we continue to confront many of the issues he led on and the obstacles he fought against, despite the decades that have passed.

"Dr. King championed voting rights as fundamental and foundational to equality, yet across the country those rights are again being stripped from marginalized communities while the same segregationist tactics are employed to block progress in the Capitol. 

"He fought for Fair Housing legislation to help marginalized people access quality, affordable housing, but here in New York, the eviction moratorium has expired in the middle of the winter and a pandemic surge, without Good Cause protections to keep people in their homes.

"We need courage to continue to push for progress along the moral arc toward justice, to bring about the dream Dr. King envisioned rather than the nightmare he feared. Dr. King said that “a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus,” and it is that kind of clarity of leadership we need today as New Yorkers navigate compounding crises and ongoing uncertainties. In lifting up his name and legacy today, we must also work to live up to and advance that legacy."

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