King County Council proclaims January as Martin Luther King Jr. Month

This year’s theme is “affirmative action equals justice.”

The King County Council and Executive Dow Constantine proclaimed the month of January as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Month on Jan. 7. The council encouraged residents to honor and remember Dr. King for his humanitarian values and work.

“We are extremely proud of the fact that we reside in the only geographic area in the world-community named in his honor – Martin Luther King County,” Councilmember Larry Gossett said. “Everywhere I go, regardless of class or race, people are very very proud of that — that was not always the case. “

This year’s theme, “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word and reality,” is meant to remind residents that truth and love continue to be powerful tools toward building Dr. King’s “Beloved Community.”

The proclamation noted “whereas being the first governmental jurisdiction with Dr. King as our namesake we are called to redouble our commitment to peace, justice and equality for all folks in the land and throughout the world.”

The council recognized Dr. King’s contributions and legacy by re-designating King County in his honor on Feb. 24, 1986. They later adopted the image of the civil rights leader as its official logo on Feb. 27, 2006.

Dr. King was born on Jan. 15, 1929, and throughout his life promoted peace, freedom, equality and justice through non-violent means. He died on April 4, 1968, when an assassin’s bullet struck him down as he was fighting to improve the lives of Black sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn.

The county’s government committee held an MLK celebration event on Thursday, Jan. 10, to commemorate the county’s namesake at The Sanctuary in downtown Seattle. The event included spoken word and music. Community members and people heard from a keynote by Ijeoma Olua, local New York Times bestselling author of “So You Want To Talk About Race.”

The Seattle MLK Jr. Organization Coalition plans to continue the celebration on Sunday, Jan. 20, and Monday, Jan. 21 with an opportunity fair, workshop, rally and a march to downtown.

Chair of Seattle King County MLK Organization Coalition Shade’ Moore accepted the proclamation. Moore is the first woman chair of the Seattle organization coalition.

She said she is proud and happy of this year’s theme.

To see the 2019 MLK Day celebration schedule, go online to the coalition’s website at www.seattlemlkcoalition.org.

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