New York City politicians mark MLK Day
New York politicians on Martin Luther King Day honored the slain civil rights leader by volunteering and protesting.
Mayor Bill de Blasio talked about income inequality and broadening opportunity in the city in his tribute to King at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
“New York City in particular is a place that epitomizes the opportunity for people to dream and achieve dreams regardless of who they are, where they come from and that spirit we have to reassert in our city,” de Blasio said.
De Blasio, citing King’s book, “Why We Can’t Wait,” pushed an agenda of expanding paid sick days, preventing hospital closures, curbing abuse of stop and frisk and instituting universal prekindergarten.
“We can’t wait, because we see the inequality in our society. We see it growing, and we see it taking us downward as a society,” he said.
In the afternoon, he and his wife, Chirlane McCray, volunteered at the Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in Harlem, putting together meals of ham-and-cheese sandwiches, juice, chips and cookies for the hungry across the city, according to an Associated Press report.
“This is the day when we think about the meaning of Dr. King, and what I think is so important, never to see his teachings as something in the past, or something that’s just a part of history in a museum — but to live them,” de Blasio said, according to the AP.
Meanwhile, outside LaGuardia Airport, Rep. Charles Rangel, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and other elected officials spent Martin Luther King Day with members of the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ for a rally in support of higher wages and paid time off for contract workers there.
Police officers arrested 30 protesters, including Rangel, eight City Council members and Assemb. Keith Wright of Harlem.