Drawing on Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to “never lose infinite hope,” Ron on Monday urged Oregonians to work together on defeating all obstacles to injustice.
“Living Dr. King’s dream means we constantly must work to overcome those obstacles that would have us accept injustice just because some people say ‘that’s the way it is,'” Ron said in remarks to The Skanner Foundation’s 30th annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast in Portland.
“As your United States senator, I refuse to just shrug my shoulders at injustice and say that’s the way it is.” he said.
He said King’s call to “accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope” strikes home as especially relevant at the start of 2016.
Among the challenges that make those words especially relevant are“putting the brakes on runaway college costs” crushing the dreams of teenagers; lifting Oregon’s low high school graduation rates; fixing a health care system that produces cures Oregonians can’t afford; and reducing “gun violence that regularly rips through our schools and our neighborhoods.”
“‘That’s the way it is’ is not good enough for Oregonians when so many of our neighbors struggle to get an education, keep their loved ones safe and healthy and just try to keep a roof over their heads,” he said. “I am absolutely convinced Dr. King would never say ‘that’s the way it is’ is good enough.”
Before making his remarks, Ron congratulated The Skanner publisher Bernie Foster and executive editor Bobbie Foster for the newspaper marking its 40th anniversary, and for its 30th year organizing the MLK Day breakfast in Portland.