Jan. 16, 2010
Observing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day through service
King County Executive Constantine and members of the King County Council urge residents to serve their communities this weekend
King County will join the rest of the nation on January 18 in celebrating the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service in 1994. It is the only federal holiday observed as a day of service and King County leaders today encouraged all residents to contribute their time and talents in some way this weekend to public service.
County Executive Dow Constantine and the members of the King County Council issued the following statements regarding the observance of the holiday from the only jurisdiction in the nation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a namesake.
"The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday isn't a day off, but a day on. It's a valuable opportunity to celebrate Dr. King's legacy by serving your community," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "I encourage all King County residents to join community work parties, to participate in public service projects, or to take part in relief efforts for the Haiti Earthquake victims during this weekend or on Monday."
"On Monday, both nationally and locally, we honor the life of Dr. King and the spirit of his dream," said Council Chair Bob Ferguson. "The holiday's call to service is a reminder to keep that dream alive every day in our hearts and deeds."
King County changed its namesake in 1986 to honor the slain civil rights leader and Nobel Laureate, and adopted the image of Dr. King for its logo in 2007.
"The vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s beloved community, his lessons of creative non-violence, and his example of forgiveness and resolution are as relevant today as they were during the height of the Civil Rights movement 45 years ago," said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. "His teachings and example continue to inspire new generations."
"The spirit of community service and activism is at the core of the work done by Dr. King," said Councilmember Larry Gossett. "We honor his memory and legacy by working in our community not only on his holiday, but every day, because it reminds us that everybody can be great... because anybody can serve.'"
"This is a day to refocus on helping our neighbors and our friends, especially in this time of economic challenges and unemployment," said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who represents northeast King County and wrote a children's book about Martin Luther King Jr. "Whether contributing on a global scale as with the response to the earthquake victims in Haiti, or on a local level such as lending a hand at the food bank or helping a neighbor, everyone can do something to contribute to the betterment of the community, as modeled so heroically by Martin Luther King Jr."
"I am pleased to be joining residents of Martin Luther King Jr. County in a rally to celebrate our namesake on this national holiday and day of service," said Councilmember Larry Phillips. "There is much we can do to keep Dr. King's dream of achieving peace and equality alive."
"Dr. King led our nation to understand that we mustn't build barriers because of the color of our skin, the neighborhoods where we live, or because of how much money we have, said Councilmember Julia Patterson. "Today we honor his enduring message of courage, hope and equality, and are fortunate to have his continued wisdom to lift us throughout our lives."
"Eighty-one years ago, a great leader was born," said Councilmember Jan Drago. "On Monday, we celebrate his life by remembering his dedication to civil and human rights"