Press Release

January 16, 2007

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today joined Marylanders in communities across the state in honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This morning, the Senator delivered the keynote address at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md. He will be attending Martin Luther King, Jr. celebrations at churches in Prince Georges County and Baltimore City later this afternoon.

Sen. Cardin released the following statement today honoring Dr. King:

Today in Maryland and across the nation, we gather to honor a true American hero, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Kings work and his words have inspired generations of Americans as we continue down our long road and struggle for civil rights and equal rights under the law. He strove to create a society in which a citizen is judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

Dr. King has established an important legacy both in the United States and around the world, as the United States continues its struggle to establish Justice as guaranteed in the preamble to our Constitution. Dr. King sought to hold our very system of government to account. He challenged our government and our citizens to address the injustice and discrimination faced by African-American citizens.

As the newly-elected United States Senator from Maryland, I have a mandate from the citizens of my state to advocate for change in Washington. I want to work to end racial disparities. I want to strengthen our support for small businesses, including women- and minority-owned small businesses. African-Americans today represent 12 percent of the population but only 4 percent of U.S. businesses. I want to work to raise the minimum wage and lift more families out of poverty.

Dr. Kings words continue to inspire me today, just as they inspired millions of our fellow Americans over four decades ago. His principles apply not just to civil rights issues affecting African-Americans, but to all Americans and indeed to all ethnic groups throughout the world.

Its critically important that we continue Dr. Kings struggle for civil rights and equality under the law, so that America can reach its full potential.