This past week I had the privilege to march alongside community leaders and residents in the 41st annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade to celebrate the lifelong legacy of a civil rights icon whose vision is still being fulfilled today. It reminded me, once again, that here in Jacksonville, we are a melting pot of people, influences and opportunities. We are multiple communities working together towards a common goal of a stronger Jacksonville for all – with our best days still ahead of us.
Dr. King and his legacy should motivate us all to do better for one another. Locally, promises made are often promises broken. But we have an opportunity to accept and promote his powerful message of equality, equity, opportunity and service to others throughout our community. Whether it’s fighting for health justice through better healthcare for all, or working on making housing more affordable so every person can afford a roof over their heads; or addressing environmental justice through speaking out and tackling the heat island effect facing many in our local communities – some of whom can’t afford air conditioning – on those hot summer days.
These problems all have solutions and are just a few of many of the issues which are impacting Jacksonville today. But I’m motivated by the fact that the challenges we face as a community are not insurmountable. Solutions are attainable… they are possible… we just need the elected leadership here in Jacksonville to stand up for the people, placing our needs and the needs of our communities, first, above all else. And with the memory of so many with us today, we must all keep marching on and speaking out until we have a Jacksonville that embraces all of its citizens. All of us.
Beaches Leader Letter to the Editor