The Work Ahead to Keep Dr. King’s Dream Alive

Remarks as Delivered at Denver’s 2019 MLK Day Marade

It’s so wonderful to be with all of you today.

But this is also the 31st day of the government shutdown. Your federal government has been shut. These federal employees need to be paid. They need to be put back to work. While the United States has been shut down, the Chinese have landed a space ship on the dark side of the moon. Other countries are going forward, and we can’t even keep our government open.

It goes back to what the Imam said earlier: We can complain about all of this, but it’s not actually going to do anything.

We have to do the work. That’s why we’re here today. Not just to march today, but to do the work every day.

Frederick Douglass told us we can’t take for granted what people did before. He said, “Your fathers have lived, died, and have done their work. You have no right to wear out and waste the hard-earned fame of your fathers to cover your indolence.”

Dr. King told us, “We cannot rest. Laurels have not yet been earned.”

People like Wellington and Wilma Webb understood this. They paved a way for Joe Neguse and for the Historic 8 right here in Colorado. They set a standard for what it means to be a citizen in this republic — one that we all now need to meet.

Because, as Dr. King said, we cannot rest. The laurels have not been earned.

We cannot rest until we build an economy that lifts incomes for everybody, not just a few.

We cannot rest until every kid in this country has the chance to go to a school that a United States Senator would send their kid.

We cannot rest until every single American can sleep at night in a safe neighborhood and every migrant child is reunited with their parents.

We have so much work to do. But I know, Denver, we can set an example for the rest of the country and the rest of the world as we do the work to keep Dr. King’s dream alive.

Thanks for being out here this morning.