The coming of a new year presents many of us with a blank slate. A way to look toward the coming year with a renewed focus and hope for a prosperous future. There is no finer example of hope for a brighter future than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
January 16, 2023, is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On this day, we celebrate the life of Dr. King and all the ways he taught us how to be better humans and a better society. How we can live up to the ideals of our founding fathers when they said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
For nearly 13 years, Dr. King led a civil rights movement that achieved more progress toward racial equity and justice than the previous 350 years combined. While many were advocating for change by any means necessary, Dr. King used the power of his words and non-violent resistance to achieve what many believed to be impossible.
In one of the darkest periods of American history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us all that unarmed truth and unconditional love are powerful moral forces that can lead to social transformation. Although he was tragically murdered in Tennessee while fighting for fair wages and working conditions for sanitation workers in Memphis, his powerful words, his sacrifice, and even his “dream” live with us and guide us today.
Just like Dr. King, I refuse to accept that Modesto is “bound to the starless midnight of racism.” I believe that Modesto, regardless of the color of your skin, how you pray, or whom you love, is a city for everyone. I believe that Modesto is a place where anyone and everyone can raise a family, start a business, and find success. I believe this so strongly that here at the City of Modesto we back up these words with action.
Last year, The City of Modesto launched our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program (DEI). We believe that the collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of not only our culture but our reputation and achievement. This is not about quotas or political correctness but ensuring that the City’s practices, policies, and services that we provide to the community are built on the premise of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We further believe that by investing in an inclusive culture, we will attract the best and brightest talent, leading to more innovative, equitable, and inclusive solutions for all in our community. Building and sustaining an inclusive and diverse culture is essential, and it is the right thing to do.
The future is bright for the City of Modesto and I am excited for all that 2023 has to offer. I wish you luck with your new year’s resolutions and I hope this year is a prosperous one for you. Happy New Year.