Fil-Am elected leaders honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. | Inquirer

Fil-Am elected leaders honor civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta joins the 39th Annual Kingdom Day Parade in LA
/ 12:08 AM January 16, 2024

LOS ANGELES – On Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day, Filipino American elected leaders in California paid tribute to the civil rights icon and participated in various events celebrating the national holiday.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who joined the 39th Annual Kingdom Day Parade in South LA, described the occasion as “a day when we honor a towering and timeless hero who lost his life in the fight for racial and social justice in America.”

Martin Luther King Jr. with arms crossed, speaking into microphone

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, answers questions at a news conference in Birmingham, Ala., Sept. 25, 1962. (AP Photo)

In an Instagram post, Bonta said he was reminded of how Dr. King shaped his life and influenced his father, Warren Bonta.

“As a young grad student in Berkeley in the 60s, my father was mailed recordings of MLK’s speeches from a friend in the South. They called him to action. He boarded a train to Selma, where he organized for civil rights and voting rights,” Bonta wrote.

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“Today, MLK’s life and legacy continue to call us to action. Let’s answer the call.”

A march towards true justice

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria described Dr. King’s legacy as “a beacon that continues to guide us towards a better, more inclusive future.”


“Together, let’s continue to march towards true justice, equality, and unity,” said Gloria, who joined the 42nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in San Diego.

He also spoke during the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA breakfast honoring the civil rights leader.

Artesia Councilmember Melissa Ramoso called on communities to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy and “give back to others.”


Rob Bonta IG post

“This can mean through actual acts or how you live your life – what type of messenger you want to be for your community,” said Ramoso in a Facebook post.

Ramoso shared a famous quote by Dr. King that has resonated with her amid the rise in hate incidents: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Promised land

The 3-mile Kingdom Day Parade began at 10 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, just west of Arlington Avenue, proceeded west to Crenshaw Boulevard and then south to Vernon Avenue, concluding near the K Line’s Leimert Park Station.

The theme was “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, Going to the Promised Land.”

Todd Gloria IG post

Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who represents the Second District, which includes the parade route, served as grand marshal.

“It was a joy celebrating the 39th Annual Kingdom Day Parade in South LA with residents & leaders from across LA County and the state. Special thank you to the Congress of Racial Equality of California for hosting this incredible event & having me serve as Grand Marshal,” Mitchell posted on X.

The Disney character Princess Tiana was the honorary grand marshal, and Disneyland had a procession in the parade with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and more than 200 Disney employees participating.

Metro’s representation in the parade included its replica of the General Motors “old look” bus Rosa Parks was riding on in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, when she refused to give up her seat to white passengers, sparking the Montgomery bus boycott.

World’s largest MLK Day celebration 

The parade was billed by organizers as the “world’s largest and longest-running life celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King.”

The parade was organized by the Congress of Racial Equality of California, a civil rights organization whose goals include combating the abuse of police authority, “education as a civil right for our youth” and seeking to eliminate tensions between Black and Hispanic youths.

It was broadcast by KABC-TV Channel 7. There were also service projects throughout Los Angeles County to fulfill the goal set by Congress in 1994 to make the day a “day on, not a day off.”

A Volunteer Festival was held at the nonprofit volunteer action center L.A. Works from noon-3:30 p.m. at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where volunteers assembled hygiene kits, career readiness kits, food packets and more to be distributed to nonprofit organizations serving vulnerable Angelenos.

Melissa Ramoso FB post

The Skirball Cultural Center in Brentwood was offering free admission for the holiday. Its exhibition of rarely seen pictures of King and more than 150 photographs taken by Civil Rights Movement insiders chronicling the fight for civil rights will run through Feb. 25.

A Mass commemorating King’s call for service was celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at 3 p.m.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass issued a statement Monday in recognition of the holiday.

“Today, we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who brought transformative change to the country and the world on behalf of our most vulnerable communities,” Bass said.

In his proclamation declaring Monday Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President Joe Biden said, “Dr. King’s mission was a moral one: from bridges and ballot boxes to pulpits, protests, and courthouses, he courageously stood for the sacred idea that embodies the soul of our nation — we are all created equal in the image of God and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives.

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TAGS: Martin Luther King Jr., Mayor Todd Gloria, Rob Bonta
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