Gov. Bill Ritter paid homage to Rev. Martin Luther King today, pointing to Colorado's recent pioneering steps of naming African-Americans as leaders of both chambers of the General Assembly as evidence that King's ideals are having an effect on American society.
“Today, as the nation marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we stand on the eve of history," Ritter said in a written statement. "Barack Obama will be inaugurated tomorrow as the United States’ first African-American president, and in Colorado our state legislature has made history by becoming the first in the nation with an African-American Senate president and an African-American House speaker.
“King would be proud to see how far we have come toward achieving his dream of judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. While we have come a great distance, we still have far to go, especially in today’s difficult economy. As we look to a new president to help lead us through this financial crisis, we must pursue King’s ideals with a renewed commitment so that we emerge from the downturn as a stronger nation and as a better Colorado.”
The governor did not appear at the Denver "Marade" ceremonies at City Park or Civic Center Park today because he is in Washington, DC for the inauguration ceremonies Tuesday.