Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability

by Jay Buckey (D) candidate for NH US Senator

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is also a call to action for all of us to continue Dr. King’s fight for civil rights and equal opportunity for all.

As Dr. King once said,  “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” As we remember Dr. King, we must commit ourselves to continuing his struggle for justice in our society.

We must commit ourselves to working for equal opportunity. While some individuals in America have unprecedented liberty, an increasing number are facing poor schools, poor health and limited opportunity. Over the last seven years of the Bush administration, our tax system has been skewed toward the rich, while working families have seen the costs of education and health care rise much faster than wages. To make sure that America remains a land of opportunity, we must work toward a fairer tax structure, universal health care, solid public education, and a better system of grants and loans so that students can afford to get the advanced education they need to succeed.

We must commit ourselves to civil rights. Part of the American dream has been the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. For many, this comes from a lifelong committed relationship. Gays and lesbians are an important part of our community – they are our brothers and sisters, our co-workers, friends, and neighbors. Gay and lesbian couples should have the same legally recognized rights and responsibilities of civil marriage that heterosexual couples currently have.

Obviously, we have a lot of work to do. But as Dr. King said in his famous speech the day before he died, “Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.”

Dr. King’s life shows that if we work together, we can make change a reality – and I look forward to working with you in the months ahead.