LA Labor Celebrates Legacy of MLK

01/25/2020

Photograph by Monica Almeida

On Saturday, January 18, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor held our annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration bringing together over 1,100 labor, community, clergy, business and elected leaders.

Congressmember Karen Bass introduced our keynote speaker Senator of California Kamala Harris, long time labor champion and civil rights advocate.  

Photograph by Monica Almeida

“California labor, Los Angeles labor, and the leaders in this room are a north star for labor leaders and working people around our country,” said Senator Harris.  “What you have been doing for years, holding down here and in this state, is a source of inspiration, a source of pride, and a source of enthusiasm about what is possible when we stay committed to this ongoing fight for civil rights, for equality, and for the working people of America.”

Other speakers included legendary Civil Rights leader Reverend James Lawson, Los Angeles City Councilmember Herb Wesson, and SEIU 2015 President April Verrett.

“We must recognize that racism and the nefarious issue of today of bad wages for too many people, who are working people, have the same spiritual poison and the same structure to keep us down rather than allowing us to rise up in faith and hope and truth,” said Reverend Lawson.  “…the labor movement in Los Angeles County, 800,000 strong members of unions, you represent one of the new structures that must take place all over this country, in every county, in every state.”

Joined by over 50 union members, Los Angeles County Labor Federation President Ron Herrera closed out the event with a call to action.

“Even in the eyes of danger, we must continue to march at every demonstration, every action and every picket line,” said Ron Herrera.  “We must resist, stand up, shout out and if need be go to jail. From labor to the legislator, we must carry our Dr. King’s Dream. We must overcome and win together.”

Photos Credit: Chris Olivarez/Production for the People