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SACRAMENTO, Jan. 21, 2019 – Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement today in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“More than 50 years after his passing, Dr. Martin Luther King’s words ring true today. They remind us that moral leadership doesn’t require a person to be in elected office or hold a position of power. Instead, exercising moral authority simply requires the will to do the right thing. Dr. King never held political office, but he is likely the most influential American of the 20th Century. Standing on the shoulders of civil rights leaders before him and working in concert with a generation of activists, Dr. King helped transform how our country saw itself and our future. At the same time that he pointed out the deep moral failings within American society, he painted a vision of what America could be.

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“We still have yet to realize Dr. King’s dream – far from it. From health outcomes to economic advancement to interactions with our criminal justice system, people of color face systemic inequities and deep disparities. And we only need to look to Washington to see how easily our victories for justice and equality can be eroded. But Dr. King provided a framework for how each of us can shape the future: Call out injustice. Work toward something better.

“I remember the quote above when I think about what’s happening in our country today. It’s almost as if Dr. King himself had imagined this moment. During this time of unprecedented tumult, from presidential Twitter tirades to the willful destruction of federal civil protections, each of us has the capacity to make a difference. Instead of giving up or losing hope, let’s gather strength from Dr. King’s legacy and use our moral authority to push for a more equitable state, society and world.”