Dr. King well understood that the things that divide Americans — or St. Louisans — must always be considered in the greater context of our more urgent concern: equal access to great schools, to safe neighborhoods, and to good jobs.
Like a laser beam, Dr. King returned to the focused consideration of those issues again and again, and he worked tirelessly to keep our attention on them.
His discipline and wisdom must be ours.
We must strengthen families so that every child grows up in a caring home in a safe neighborhood.
We must give our kids constructive things to do before and after productive days at good schools so they grow up prepared for the future.
We must provide job training and fair access to jobs and unions.
We must help families facing unfair foreclosures to save their homes.
We can (and certainly will) disagree on a thousand smaller issues. But, we must unite on the bigger ones.
Yes, we will at times disagree. Yes, we will sometimes raise our voices in anger and hurt. But, we must also work together if we hope build on the undoubted progress St. Louis has made.
Tonight, people of good will sit down together to celebrate a great man’s legacy. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, I hope all people of good will sit down together at the table of reconciliation to engage in meaningful, constructive dialogue about how to move our City, region, and state forward.