“Racial equality should not just be the goal of the oppressed, but the goal of every American,” City Council President Anthony Eramo said to a crowd of people on Monday. “It is up to us to make sure that in our homes, our schools, our places of work, one ideal is heard above all — that all men are created equal.”
Dozens of people gathered in City Hall to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on what would have been his 89th birthday.
County Legislator Denise Ford, Assemblywoman Melissa Miller and clergy members joined city officials to speak on this year’s theme of “Reclaiming our Time,” inspired by a quote made popular by a viral Internet video of Congresswoman Maxine Waters speaking at a House Financial Services Committee meeting in August.
The Nehemiah Project, a local choir group, serenaded the audience before those in attendance heard quotes, lyrics and poetry excerpts that resonated the day’s message recited by members of Girl Scout Troop 2005.
After the ceremony, hundreds of people marched along W. Park Avenue from Laurelton Boulevard, following the footsteps of Dr. King when he visited Long Beach in 1965, to show solidarity with his ideals.
Additionally, the city renamed the intersection of Pine Street and Riverside Boulevard “MLK Way” to preserve the historic legacy of the Martin Luther King Center and the North Park community.
In lieu of a grand marshal, the city honored the members of the sanitation department and the Civil Service Employee Association for all the work they perform throughout the year.
“I’d like to recognize the unsung heroes of Long Beach — our sanitation department, who work tirelessly to keep this city functioning, through rain, freezing temperatures, even after a bomb cyclone last week,” Acting City Manager and Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said.
Full story to come.