By Doug Porter
It has been twenty seven years since the first federal holiday marking the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King was observed. Like all good things, establishment of this commemorative day didn’t come without a serious effort. It wasn’t officially observed in all 50 states until 2000.
The movement for a holiday honoring Dr. King began as a union demand in contract negotiations. Congressman John Conyers introduced a bill four days after the assassination in 1968 to make the slain leader’s birthday a national holiday.
The bill would likely have died in committee, and stayed buried, had it not been for thousands of working-class Americans–most of them black, but also white, Asian and Latino–who risked their jobs over the next fifteen years to demand the right to honor a man they viewed as a working-class hero.
From a 2006 article in the Nation magazine:
Unions provided the financial and social capital to extend the movement nationwide. That support was coordinated by DWA leader Robinson, a close friend of the King family. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, invited Robinson and Conyers to kick off the campaign for a national holiday at a 1969 birthday rally at the new King center in Atlanta. At the rally, Conyers recounted his bill’s defeat in Congress and expressed hope for more support the following year. Robinson called for direct action, declaring, “We don’t want anyone to believe we hope Congress will do this. We’re just sayin’, us black people in America just ain’t gonna work on that day anymore.”
By 1973, with the King holiday bill still languishing in Congress, working-class blacks were doing just what Robinson recommended. “I have been told by people in plant after plant in Detroit,” Conyers testified in Congress that year, “that on January 15th, if it is not in the bargaining contract, one does not come to work anyway. It is a holiday already.” Robinson’s DWA urged members to observe King’s birthday “regardless of contractual obligations or permissions of employers” and pledged its “full resources” to defend workers from punishment. Union officials demanded a paid holiday in contract negotiations, and individual members were asked to donate a “significant portion” of their holiday pay to the campaign. AFSCME and the United Autoworkers also contributed funds and made the holiday a standard contract demand.
A Time to Give Back, A Time to Pay Forward, A Time to be Proud
For those of us lucky enough to be able to celebrate holidays, this coming weekend is (or should be) different. I’ve combed through local listings in an attempt to create a comprehensive and easy to use guide for people who wish to honor the memory of Dr. King through community service and celebrations. There are activities listed here for people spanning all levels of physical ability, age and political persuasion. You can sign up for many of them with a mere click of the mouse.
AmpleHarvest.org – Ending Hunger and Food Waste in Your Community
Jan 18, 2013 Noon -Simply visit this link to get started: http://www.AmpleHarvest.org/
A Better San Diego Breakfast: The Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Jan 18, 2013 By ‘A Better San Diego’ 8:00am until 9:30am
Ahead of the holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, A Better San Diego will discuss his work and legacy, and examine how it applies to San Diego today. Speakers will reflect on Dr. King’s work and the connections between Dr. King’s involvement in the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike and San Diego’s current debate over outsourcing trash services. Speakers: Rev. Richard Lawrence, Civil Rights and Community Activist, Rev. J. Lee Hill Jr., Frank Pitarro, AFSCME 127
Location: UFCW Hall at 2001 Camino Del Rio South. In Mission Valley. The Hall entrance is behind the building. Breakfast is provided for a suggested donation of $5
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Street Clean Up at El Cajon Blvd with Little Saigon Foundation
Jan 19, 2013 10am 4656 El Cajon Blvd Suite C (San Diego, CA)
The Little Saigon Foundation is hosting a street clean up for the National Day of Service. We need as many volunteers as possible, who would be willing to participate in the following: 1) Neighborhood & District Graffiti Removal 2) Store-front repaints (This month is The Hing Long Shopping Center) 3) Neighborhood & Street Trash Clean UP 4) Help Local Businesses Flatten & Recycle Boxes 5) Landscape Clean Up (includes sweeping and raking leaves) Join us in keeping the community clean, we will be from Highland Ave to Euclid Ave, look for yellow shirts). This will be fun day to bring our community together, while also doing something to benefit the environment! RSVP » Details »
Help in San Diego with Habitat for Humanity!
Jan 19, 2013 1pm Habitat for Humanity Warehouse (San Diego, CA)
Come join us at the Habitat for Humanity Restore as we help operate their 17,000 sq foot home improvement warehouse. Their warehouse could not operate as smoothly without volunteer efforts. We will be assisting them by helping customers, answering telephones, organizing inventory, helping drivers on their pickup route & will be involved in some light construction. RSVP » Details »
Operation Gratitude: Letter-Writing Campaign
Jan 19, 2013 10:00am Black Contractors Association – 6125 Imperial Ave, San Diego
Join us as we hand-write letters and make cards for inclusion in care packages that will be delivered to U.S. Service Members who are deployed to hostile regions. The letters express our gratitude to these brave Americans, lift morale, and let them know that they are being thought of by their fellow citizens back home. This is a great service activity for families – parents and older siblings can write letters and the little ones are welcome to draw pictures for inclusion with the letters and cards.
Materials will be provided, but contributions of special papers, stickers, etc are appreciated. Please come and spend an hour or two of your day to express your gratitude and support for our brave men and women in uniform. Also, if you receive a daily or weekly newspaper, please consider saving and bringing in the comics, crossword puzzle, and sudoku puzzle pages. These can be included in the care packages and are appreciated by our Service men and women.
Our letters will support the work of Operation Gratitude, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that annually sends 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items, and personal letters of appreciation to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, to their children left behind, and to Wounded Warriors, veterans, and First Responders. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 815,000 packages to American Military members. RSVP » Details »
MLK Day of Service: Mama’s Kitchen Food Drive
Jan 19, 2013 9:00am Vons Grocery Store 8011 University Ave, La Mesa, CA
Join us to help collect food to be donated to Mama’s Kitchen. Mama’s Kitchen makes sure that 774 AIDS and cancer patients throughout San Diego County will be able to eat. We will be outside of Vons, so feel free to purchase these items at Vons. We also need people to donate those items as well as assist with collecting the food. RSVP » Details »
American Legion Post 434 Veterans Home Support Project – Chula Vista
Jan 19, 2013 Shifts begin at 8:00am & Noon at the Veterans Home of Chula Vista, 700 East Naples, Chula Vista
Help us with painting 2 miles of curbs, fencing repair/painting, and restoring various items on the Veterans Home Property as well as minor maintenance detail. Come prepared to paint and conduct minor manual labor. More items may develop between now and the day of the event. However, no one will get tasked with anything beyond their desires or capabilities. Lunch will be provided as well as water and snacks. Plus, we try to make it fun as well as productive! RSVP » Details »
San Diego County Young Democrats Day of Service
Jan 19, 2013 9am Feeding America San Diego – 9455 Waples Street Suite 135
We will be working on packing food for the needy, preparing food packages for the school backpack program and sorting donated food. We will post a link from Feeding America San Diego that will allow people to fill out and print a volunteer waiver form. This is required to volunteer at their facility. Check out the organization at the organization atfeedingamericasd.org. Afterwards we will be going to Green Flash Brewery or Karl Strauss for some beer/food.
RSVP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/
Open Mic – Speak To Be Heard!
Jan 19, 2013 7:30pm Vision Pulse 10211 Pacific Mesa Blvd Ste 400, San Diego, CA
Come share your words of encouragement and hope through poetry and music or listen to an evening filled with positivity. Bring 2 canned goods to receive 1/2 off the admission. Food will be donated to NCCS Food Bank in North County. RSVP » Details »
Blood Drive at Sabre Springs, San Diego Blood Bank
Jan 19, 2013 11am 12640 Sabre Springs Parkway Suite 109, San Diego, CA
Please join our Blood Drive at Sabre Springs where we will donate blood as a group representing the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) on this “National Day of Service”. San Diego Blood Bank saves lives with quality blood services in partnership with the community. All blood brought into the San Diego Blood Bank is provided by a 100% volunteer donor effort. RSVP » Details »
Cottonwood Creek Habitat Restoration
Jan 19, 2013 8:30am Cottonwood Creek near Moonlight Beach (Encinitas, CA)
We will have a work party celebration National Day of Service this Saturday, Jan. 19th, from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM (late arrivals welcome). The forecast is for a nice sunny day, with a high near 68. We will mostly do weeding, since there are lots of annual weeds that are easy to get rid of now while they are small. Surfrider Foundation is collaborating with us on litter removal and will be set up just west of Third St., adjacent to our work site.
Since the early 1990s, Cottonwood Creek Conservancy has been removing invasive plants and restoring native ones along the creek and canyon near Moonlight Beach. Invasive plants crowd out the willows and other natives and must be removed so the native plants can attract birds, butterflies, and water creatures such as frogs. Cottonwood Creek is the single most important factor in the creation of the little town of Encinitas, beginning in 1881. It supplied water for the California Southern Railroad steam locomotives and was also a major source of water for early settlers. RSVP » Details »
Moonlight State Beach Cleanup
Jan 19, 2013 9am Moonlight State Beach (Encinitas, CA)
Follow this link for complete details: http://www.meetup.com/
Food Drive for North County Food Bank
Jan 19, 2013 Shifts at 10am, Noon, 2pm, and 4pm Sprouts Farmers Market 510 W 13th Ave, Escondido, CA
Volunteers from all across the country are taking action on Saturday Jan. 19, 2013 to answer President Obama’s call for community service. Be part of this year’s inaugural celebration by helping us right here in our community. We are collecting non perishable food items to donate to the North County Food Bank who feed the needy. RSVP » Details »
Need ‘Right to Know” federal law to protect children and future generations
Jan 19, 2013 Noon, Private Residence (San Marcos, CA)
Work has just begun helping the disabled community and especially children live a better quality of life in their homes and schools throughout America, some priorities to consider as follows: School Plan: Set up a committee at each school (e.g. IMP coordinator, PTG representative, concerned parents, principal, and other outside sources that promote moving away from pesticides. Most important: Working on the ‘Right to Know’ initiative bill with non-profit organizations throughout the country that have been working on this desperately needed bill thus far. We will be looking at all the elements of other states laws that have pasted similar ‘Right to Know’ laws. RSVP » Details »
MLK Day of Service Food Drive at Trader Joe’s
Jan 19, 2013 Shifts at 10am, Noon, 2pm, 4pm Trader Joe’s Oceanside 2570 Vista Way, Oceanside, CA
Invite shoppers to purchase donations as they enter Trader Joe’s for the MLK Day of Service. Food is going to the Bread of Life organization. Sign up for a shift below and join the warm spirit of serving those in need as a way to honor Dr. King and celebrate Inauguration Weekend. Details »
Fallbrook Food Drive
Jan 19, 2013 Shifts at 10am, Noon, 2pm, 4pm Northgate Market, 1346 S Mission Rd, Fallbrook, CA
We will collect food at Northgate Markets in Fallbrook, for the Fallbrook Food Pantry which for decades has done a great service to the needy in the community. Join us on one/more of four shifts. Help fill the shopping carts. RSVP » Details »
The People’s Ball at the World Beat Center
Jan 19, 2013 7:00pm until 11:00pm 2100 Park Blvd in Balboa Park
KNSJ Radio and Activist San Diego are hosting The People’s Ball, a gala and night of dancing with musical performances and surprise guests. This gala is to raise funds to bring a new and needed radio voice to San Diego—KNSJ 89.1 FM out of Descanso, a truly independent community radio station of the people, by the people and for the people in San Diego county’s border region. Music by Kelsea Rae Little and Jason Brock, performance by Transcendance, and one the Full Strength Funk Band. Tickets: http://knsj.org/
31st Annual Martin Luther King Day Parade
January 20, 2013 10am – 2pm Tailgate Park, 13th Street and Imperial Avenue, East Village. A citywide parade complete with floats, marching bands and dancers that attracts thousands of people to the East Village. The celebration begins at Petco Park’s Tailgate Park on 13th Street and Imperial Avenue at 10 a.m. The route makes a circle around the surrounding streets, including Park Boulevard and J Street, finishing back at Tailgate Park around 2 pm. Music will be provided by high school marching bands, including Clairemont, Lincoln and Morse, along with drill teams, a royal court and dance troupes. Information: alpha-zsl.org
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Sunday, January 20, 2013 – 8 am – 4 pm (For UCSD Students)
Help spruce up a downtown community center after marching in the 33rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade. Contact: email@example.comURL: http://mlkday.ucsd.edu/?
All Peoples Celebration (SOLD OUT)
Monday, January 21, 2013 at 10 am (doors open at 9 am) San Diego Public Market, Barrio Logan 1735 National Ave, San Diego
Alliance San Diego is thrilled to host the 25th All Peoples Celebration, honoring the living legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For 25 years, this dynamic and energizing event has brought together people from all backgrounds to advance Dr. King’s vision of a world where all people are treated as equals, with dignity and respect. We are excited to announce that Mayor Bob Filner will be our keynote speaker and will address our theme, The Art of Change. Mayor Filner first became an agent of change at the young age of 18 when he boarded a Greyhound bus and traveled through the Deep South as one of the Freedom Riders challenging racial segregation. Our program will include local artists who will interpret The Art of Change as an expression of social justice. The All Peoples Celebration will take place at 10 am in the newly opened Public Market, in the heart of Barrio Logan. Doors will open at 9 am and we will broadcast the presidential inauguration until our program starts. Breakfast will be provided.
5th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Interfaith Service
Monday, January 21st 9am- 11:30am Morley Field, Balboa Park (Corner of Upas and Texas Streets). Follow our signs to our parking area. Map…
Join diverse San Diego faith communities in hands-on volunteer service in Balboa Park. Make it a day on, not a day off!
9 AM—registration at Morley Field 9:30 to 11:30 AM—We will be working outdoors.Come dressed and prepared for physical work; we expect to be clearing and hauling brush, mulching and planting. As your work ends, you are invited to stay and picnic in the park. Bring your own food, and enjoy! Online registration now open…
2013 MLK Day of Service – Restore Cholas Creek
Jan. 21st, 2013 · By Empowering Spirits Foundation, Starting at the Jacobs Center
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s service to our country, Empowering Spirits Foundation volunteers in collaboration with volunteers from The Jacobs Center for Innovation, the United African American Ministerial Action Council (UAAMAC), the Department of Defense Federal Globe, the Imperial Court of San Diego, and the National Women Veterans Association of America will work side-by-side to restore Cholas Creek. The event is designed to allow lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members of the community to work alongside members of the faith-based community and communities of color in an attempt to build bridges between various groups and promote understanding.
Cholas Creek runs directly through Market Creek Plaza, an important asset to an underinvested and culturally diverse neighborhood of San Diego. It is among the nation’s first real estate development projects to be designed, built, and ultimately owned by community residents. The event will be preceded by a Community Breakfast at The Jacobs Center at 7:00 a.m. Tickets may be purchased by going to www.uaamac.org, or by calling 619-264-1213.
“The time is always right to do what’s right.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Labor Council Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Jan. 21st, 2013 8:30 -10:30 am Parkside Park, Paradise Hills
This year we will again honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day of service to our community. The MLK Day of Service is a way to transform Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s life work and teachings into community action that helps address social problems. Use this day as a “day on, not a day off” to celebrate Dr. King through community service projects. RSVP/Map http://www.facebook.com/
MLK Day of Service for the San Diego Winter Shelter
Jan 21, 2013 10am Mission Hills United Church of Christ, 4070 Jackdaw Street, San Diego We will pack hygiene kits and prepare lunch for the guests of San Diego’s Winter Shelter. Please bring any of the following supplies: Powdered laundry detergent, travel sized shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, razors, or granola type cereal bars. We will gather at Mission Hills United Church of Christ at 10a.m. to pack the kits (our goal is 250 but they could use as many as we can make) and prepare lunch. We will then caravan to the shelter to serve lunch, distribute the kits, and visit with the guests of the shelter. All ages are welcome, but children 17 and younger need to be accompanied by an adult. RSVP »
MLK Day of Service Beach Clean Up in Pacific Beach (Kid-Friendly!)
Jan 21, 2013 10:00am Tourmaline Beach & Surf Park (San Diego, CA)
Join us for a family-friendly beach clean up in association with San Diego Coastkeeper Please bring gloves and a bucket if possible. RSVP » Details »
On This Day: 1961 – In his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned against the rise of “the military-industrial complex.” 1969 – “Lady Samantha” was released in England. It was one of the very first recordings by Reginald Kenneth Dwight, better known as Elton John. 1994 –The Northridge earthquake rocked Los Angeles, registering a 6.7 on the Richter Scale. At least 61 people were killed and about $20 billion in damage was caused.
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmer’s Markets: Carmel Valley (Canyon Crest Academy 5951 Village Center Loop Road) 3:30 – 7:00 pm, Chula Vista(Downtown, Center St. & Third Ave.) 3 –7 pm, Linda Vista (6900 Linda Vista Road Between Comstock & Ulric) 2 – 7 pm, North Park (CVSPharmacy parking lot 3151 University & 32nd St.) 3 – 7 pm, Oceanside Market & Faire (Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101) 9 am – 1 pm,Oceanside Sunset (Tremont & Pier View Way) 5 –9 pm, San Carlos (Pershing Middle School 8204 San Carlos Drive) 4 – 7 pm, SDSU Farmers’ Market (Campanile Walkway btw Hepner Hall & Love Library) 10 – 3 pm, University Town Center (Genesee Ave. at UTC Westfield Shopping Plaza) 3 – 7 pm.
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