Hundreds gather in St. Paul to remember MLK

Hundreds of people came together today to remember and honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

The celebration also put the spotlight on Minnesotans who are making a difference.

At the Ordway in St. Paul, a celebration honored the life and legacy of MLK.

“We’ve made some progress, and I’m proud of that. but there’s so much left undone,” said Governor Mark Dayton. Dayton led the opening remarks, calling out injustices, pushing for equality and taking aim at President Trump.

“When the president of the U.S. is the worst public perpetrator of racism, bigotry and intolerance, it should be shocking,” he said.

Just 10 days on the job since replacing Senator Al Franken, former Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith rallied the crowd. She urged those in attendance to confront the systems of inequity.

“Stay strong and stay fearless,” she said. “These are systems that hold us back in housing, and criminal justice and our voting systems. and they holding back people of color, women and immigrants, native people, they’re holding all of us back.

During the event, more than a dozen people - including two newly elected transgender members of the Minneapolis City Council - were honored for their commitment to service. 

It’s been more than 60 years since Dr. King championed equal rights and opportunities for all, and as the event caused many to reflect on how much has changed in America, newly-elected St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said there’s a lot more work ahead.
“Life’s most urgent and pressing question is ‘what are you doing to help others?’” he asked.

The governor's council on the MLK holiday has hosted this event for the past 32 years.