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Celebrating The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A message from Council President Johnathan Austin

“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, as we pause to reflect on and to celebrate the extraordinary life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I believe the most appropriate way to honor his legacy is through service and volunteerism. Dr. King devoted his life to advancing social justice, economic opportunity and equality for all people. And like Dr. King, I believe that acts of service to others are the great equalizer. So what better way to honor him than by coming together to lend a helping hand to our neighbors, volunteering to feed those in need or by performing a random act of kindness.

The Magic City is experiencing a renaissance at a pace that is unheard of, and I believe that with success must come service. As the City Council continues to seek ways to serve the citizens of Birmingham, I challenge each of you to join us in making our city a place where opportunities and equal access for all exists. The Council is working continuously to breathe new life into our most blighted and underserved neighborhoods, as well as create new opportunities for even more economic development. As we commit to do our part to secure funding for larger projects such as demolition and road pavements, I challenge you to do your part to improve our communities as well. How? By forming a group of your neighbors to pick up litter along the roadways in your neighborhood; by helping a neighbor repair or paint their home; by going grocery shopping for the elderly couple next door; by playing a game of football with the fatherless kids in your community or by donating the perfect prom dress to a teen girl whose family can’t afford one. These are simple acts of service that can change the quality of life for someone and show the world how the Magic City truly lives up to its name.  The future of our city not only depends on what our current leaders do, but it ultimately depends on how much we all do collectively to make Birmingham a better place to live, work and play.

Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” It is my hope that as we pause to remember Dr. King, a man who tirelessly worked to better not just his community but the world, that we will take that same mindset and use it to not let our acts of kindness stop in just our own neighborhoods, but that together we will look for opportunities beyond our doorsteps.