The right to vote is central to our democracy. My father, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., fought and risked his life alongside brave men and women committed to winning the right to vote for all Americans exactly because the right to vote is crucial to determining the future of this nation.
Americans of all races and ages went to the polls and made their voices heard in the face of great adversity. Flagrant voter suppression, a global pandemic, and hours-long lines could not stop us from voting and even recording a record number of early votes. But democracy does not end on Election Day—the vote is the first step, not the last, on the long march toward freedom.
So today, on behalf of the Children’s Defense Fund, I’m asking you to recommit yourself to the important work of eradicating the evils of poverty and racism and pushing for a just future for all children. This work is not easy, it can be uncomfortable, and it can be messy. But as fully engaged participants in this democracy, we must do the work.
As citizens, it is our job to hold our elected officials accountable to America’s children and to our ideals. We are still an America that has refused to live up to its creed that all are created equal, and this is particularly true when it comes to the access and opportunities afforded to our children. So get to know those who have recently been elected or re-elected in your community and commit yourself to the hard but necessary work of consistently demanding that they fight on behalf of all children.
Thank you for your commitment to our country’s young people and for your resolve in this fight. I, and the Children’s Defense Fund, will be right here beside you.
Yours in service,
Dr. Bernice A. King
CEO, The King Center
Bernice A. King is the Chief Executive Officer of The King Center, which was founded by her mother in 1968. She is the youngest daughter of the late Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and is an advocate, mentor, educator, orator, and author.