On Monday, for the first time in two decades, Sen. Lisa Brown will not be in the Capitol on Martin Luther King Day.
Although the Legislature is always in session and traditionally works on this state holiday, Brown is spending the day in Spokane to march with others in the community, one year after an attempted bombing of that annual event.
Last year's parade was rerouted by police after a bomb was found in a suspicious backpack along the route by three temporary workers. The march continued last year and will be repeated Monday, Brown said, “sending a strong message that violence has no place in our community or any community.” In a speech last Friday on the Senate floor, Brown quoted King, stating people who march “must always march ahead.”
Brown’s office as Senate majority leader displays a painting by Spokane artist Ben Joyce which features the street layout of Washington, D.C. from the Lincoln Memorial, where King made his “I Have a Dream” speech to the White House in 1963. Joyce’s artwork is entitled “16,582 Days” to mark the number of days between the speech and the inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation's first African-American president.
Brown urges people to stop by her office to see painting and contemplate how far the nation has come in that time. And on the one-year anniversary of the attempted bombing, they might want to contemplate something else, she said: “How far we still have to go until our differences are settled through dialogue and debate, and not through violence.”
Click here to listen to Senator Brown’s floor speech:
Click HERE to see photos from Senator Brown on Friday, Ben Joyce’s artwork and to read her speech in its entirety.