Washington, DC—A record number of state and federal elected officials will roll up their sleeves to serve local communities across the country tomorrow, Monday, January 18, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.
More than nine Members of Congress, seven Governors and twenty-seven Mayors will join thousands of Americans as the nation rallies to honor Dr. King's memory by tackling the nation's most persistent challenges through service. The elected officials will participate in various types of service including projects that help mentor youth on leadership, feed the homeless, and provide financial counseling to jobseekers.
U.S. Representative John Lewis, co-author of the legislation that established the MLK National Day of Service and a nationally recognized civil right leader who marched with Dr. King, called on Americans to do their part to help realize Dr. King's dream by serving on the national holiday. “It is also fitting that while remembering his life and his contributions, that we commit ourselves to serving our communities – to becoming the change that we all wish to see in the world,” Lewis stated on the floor of the House last week. Lewis will serve in Atlanta tomorrow and is a 2010 MLK Day Ambassador.
On Monday, several elected officials, volunteers and project leaders will be posting videos, blog messages, tweets, and photos in real-time throughout the day that capture volunteer activities in communities throughout the country. To track what is happening at service sites and find local volunteer opportunities, visit Serve.gov.
Below is a list of how some elected officials are marking MLK Day of Service and the service projects that they are participating in on Monday.
Members of Congress
- Representative Paul Hodes (R-NH) will join City Year New Hampshire's Opening Day of Service for its Young Heroes program, which engages middle and high school students in leadership development through service.
- Representative Jim Himes (D-CT) will join 400 volunteers in a variety of service activities organized by the University of Bridgeport and the Service for Peace, including a health fair, financial education program, and fire safety demonstrations.
- Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) will participate in two Washington, DC, area school beautification projects.
- Governor Jennifer Granholm (MI) is the keynote at a morning kickoff rally of City Year Detroit's MLK Day of Service, which will engage 400 volunteers in a variety of activities.
- Governor Pat Quinn (IL) participated in Chicago Cares' Celebration of Service on January 16 in Chicago, with 4,000 volunteers taking part in 40 service projects throughout the city.
- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, CA will participate in a prayer breakfast kicking off King Week, a city-wide initiative.
- Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston, MA will join Boston Cares for a day of service with 1,000 volunteers at the Reggie Lewis Center, with activities including making toiletry kits and fleece blankets to be distributed to those in need.
- Mayor Paul Winfield of Vicksburg, MS, will serve with members from the AmeriCorps NCCC campus in Vicksburg in a beautification project at a public housing complex.
- Mayor Buddy Dyer of Orlando will help bag and distribute food to seniors in need via the Meal Time, Inc., program, which was started by an RSVP volunteer.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service:
In 1994, Congress passed legislation encouraging Americans to observe the King Holiday as a national day of service that brings people together from different backgrounds to meet needs in their community. The Corporation for National and Community Service was designated as the lead federal agency to execute the King Day of Service. Participation has grown every year since its inception. The King Day of Service provides Americans the opportunity to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King through service to meet local and national needs. For more information, visit www.Serve.gov/MLKDay or http://www.mlkday.gov/.
The Corporation for National and Community Service:
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service each year through its core programs, Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information about the Corporation, visit NationalService.gov.