Florida politicians remembered the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday.
King, widely credited as the father of the American civil rights movement, was born January 15, 1929.
Here’s what Florida politicians are saying:
President Donald Trump
“Today we join all Americans in reflecting on the legacy and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He truly changed the course of human history, and his principles of nonviolence in pursuit of equality and justice continue to serve as an example for all the world. In so many ways, the hope and promise of Reverend King exists today, yet we are all called upon as Americans to continue his work and ensure that equal opportunity is available in every community and every corner of our society, including for our children and grandchildren.”
Gov. Rick Scott
“As Dr. King said — the time is always right to do what is right. As Floridians, we should all reflect today on not what just we have accomplished, but what else we can do for others. Floridians care about each other and are always willing to help.
Dr. King’s vision is alive and well in our state, but we must continue to work every day to make sure that everyone can succeed and live the American Dream in Florida. Today, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his vision and contribution to to what it means to be an American.”
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. (via Twitter)
“Today we celebrate the legacy and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that live on to this day. Let’s honor his legacy by renewing our efforts to create a more just, tolerant, and compassionate society that he envisioned.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (via Twitter)
“This #MLKDay I urge everyone to reflect on the principles that Martin Luther King Jr. peacefully defended so that as a nation we can continue to embody his dream of opportunity and equality for all.”
Commissioner of Agriculture/Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam
“Today we remember the life of a man who inspired millions of Americans to dream of a better tomorrow. As Dr. King said, ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’
Today we celebrate not just a man, but a movement who has advanced the causes of justice and equality in America. The words of Dr. King remain a beacon in our democracy continuing to shape our country for generations to come. Thanks to his sacrifice and the perseverence of those who came after him, our country has made great strides since Dr. King’s famous 1963 speech.
May we too strive to fully realize his dream for this nation in which all men and women are judged not just by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla.
“As we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King, we remember that there is no room for bigotry, hatred or injustice in our society.”
U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo
“Today, we remember and honor a man who always reminded us to never stop standing up for our principles and convictions.”
U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla.
“Today we honor the life and legacy of a true American hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His courage and commitment to equality transformed the United States. May we never forget the principles our country was founded on– liberty and justice for ALL.”
U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla.
“Every year, we remember the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honor his lifelong work to overcome prejudice and hatred. This year, as we face the prospect of losing ground in the fight for equality, it is especially meaningful that we reflect on Dr. King’s legacy and everything that he stood for.
Too many inequalities still exist for communities of color. Be it education, housing, or employment opportunities, communities of color still remain at a disadvantage. In the wake of decisions by the Trump Administration to eviscerate funding for affordable housing and education – programs that are of great importance to leveling the playing field – we must be mindful that the wrongs of the past are not so simply reversed. We must never stop challenging ourselves to do better.
Today’s observance reminds us of our responsibility to provide equal opportunities for all, to reject prejudice, fight discrimination, and to oppose the demonization of any American based on their skin color or ethnicity. Let us rededicate ourselves to fostering progress in our communities, just as Dr. King did not so long ago.”
U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla.
“Today we honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., & recognize his commitment to service. Dr. King demonstrated what you can accomplish when you have a dream. I implore each of you to dream. Our country has made great progress, but we still have a way to go.”
U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla.
“Please join me in honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His dedication to liberty and justice forever improved our country!”
U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla.
“Dr. King showed courage in the face of adversity in the quest for civil rights and paid the ultimate sacrifice to improve the lives of all Americans.”
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
“As Americans come together to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, we are surrounded by far too many reminders of the progress that we have not yet made. Those with hate in their hearts have stormed college campuses from Charlottesville to Gainesville – aided by many more who spew bigotry and racism behind the anonymity of the Internet. Efforts to keep minorities away from the ballot box still threaten the sacred right to vote. And the current occupant of the Oval Office has made a slew of vile, racist comments that have no place in our public discourse.
Over the last decade, this nation has made enormous progress in the quest for social justice and equality. Yet, the arc of history has not bent easily and we now face a series of setbacks and obstacles that we simply cannot ignore. As Dr. King once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
I challenge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to never respond to acts of bigotry with silence. Today and every day, we must honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. not just with our words, but with our deeds.”
House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us many important lessons about justice, leadership, and faith. Today, it’s important to remember and appreciate the positive impact MLK had on American society.”
Tallahassee Mayor/Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum
“In 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched from Selma to Montgomery. During that march to end injustices, he said, “…we are not about to turn around. We are on the move now. Yes, we are on the move and no wave of racism can stop us.”
Over fifty years later his fight continues.
Within the last year it’s clear that, while we have come a long way in the civil rights movement since Dr. King’s march, we’re still on the move now.
Many of us tell ourselves that a flag or a statue, regardless of how demeaning in its display, can’t harm us or keep us from reaching our life goals. Our fear is that if we pause long enough to internalize their message, maybe we’d grow hopelessly frustrated by our seeming inability to change things.
Because this is not the battle I imagine for my children or yours. Nor do I want them to still be fighting for voting rights, or a criminal justice system that doesn’t disproportionately lock people of color up for crimes committed at the same rates.
We should have conversations about race, racism, sexism, and all the other -isms, because if it sits unconscious, we’ll allow it to continue to perpetuate. Which is why today is not a day off, but a day on.
To honor Dr. King, we must continue to help America move closer to its promise of liberty and justice for all, and we remember the struggles left unfinished. Together, we will rebuild this state and make freedom a part of everybody’s story, no matter what they look like or where they come from.”
Former U.S. Rep./Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham
“‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As we fight for justice and equality in these difficult times, I often turn to this quote from Dr. King for hope.
In Florida, we must stand up to growing inequality, attacks on immigrants and discrimination in our criminal justice system. Across the country, we all have a moral responsibility to denounce Donald Trump when his words provide support to racists, neo-Nazis and the KKK.
That is why our fight is so important. This is about who we are as Americans. The long arc of the moral universe will only bend toward justice if we fight for it.
And with you fighting by our side, we will redeem the soul of America.”
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King
“‘Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness,’ Dr. King says. “Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.”
Dr. King’s call to action 50 years ago is just as relevant today as it was then. Our response to difficult times must be to rise up with a greater readiness. Our response to powerful opposition must be to stand up with a greater determination. And our response to threatened democracy must not be to ‘make America great again,’ but to make America what it ought to be.
We know what America ought to be. You’ve shown me, and I hope I’ve shown you, that we are doing everything we can, at every crossroads, to stand up for what is right.”
Miami Beach Mayor/Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine
“We remember Dr. King’s words today and everyday—’The time is always right to do what is right,’ and we have more work to do right now in Florida!”