In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

A few snippets from this morning’s 22nd Annual San Francisco Martin Luther King Jr. Labor and Community Breakfast, attended by about 1,000 people at the San Francisco Hilton:

  • San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom: “So many people feel they cannot make a difference because they’re not somebody else,” yet King, and Gandhi, and other revered figures of freedom held moral authority but no formal titles at the peak of their influence. Those who inspire, Newsom said, often do so without the mantle of public office or fame; they do so because they act for what is right and just.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco: “I’m so proud to represent San Francisco values, in the Congress of the United States, of faith, hope and love.”
    …and, to girls in the audience…
    “My election as Speaker broke a marble ceiling. That means the sky’s the limit, you can do anything you want to do. We’ve made history, now let’s make progress.”
  • State Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco (quoting King): ” ‘Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter.’ But silence is capitulation, silence is passivity, silence is ‘go along and get along’ ” and it won’t create jobs, educate chidlren, house the homeless or make the air cleaner. “I’m ready for Sacramento as your fighter… We’re going to make noise.”
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: King was scorned, mocked and threatened but never lost faith while building an “army of the righteous… and in doing so, he helped free us all.”
  • Listen to the governor’s entire speech here; read much more about the event in tomorrow’s editions.

    Josh Richman

    Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

    • It’s crucial that the children understand the importance of the work that Dr. King and other’s like him have done. I personally don’t understand why this type of reverence is only displayed once throughout the year. It’s about more than just African Americans. It’s about all of us..all of humanity and anyone that had to struggle for their rights…for their equality. I’m happy to see our leaders speaking out with respect. The respect that these people devoted their lives to receiving.