Washington, D.C. — Sixty years ago, leaders of the civil rights movement and some 250,000 supporters gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to make their voices heard in a fight against discrimination, segregation and laws denying people of color the right to vote. This March on Washington was the setting for Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech. Many American mayors were strong advocates for civil rights in the 1960s, and civil rights has remained a core priority for The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) in the sixty years since. Today, as mayors celebrate the legacy of the March on Washington and recognize the work that still needs to be done, USCM President and Reno (NV) Mayor Hillary Schieve and USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran released the following statement:
“The March on Washington was an inflection point in our history, made possible by courageous Americans who would not accept a society in which anyone’s liberty and opportunities were limited by the color of their skin. The leaders of the 1963 March and all those who marched with them remain an inspiration to mayors today. Our cities are stronger because of their determination and their sacrifice.
“While great progress has been made, we know the work of creating a more perfect union is not yet done. The U.S. Conference of Mayors remains steadfast in its commitment to root out discrimination of all forms, to work toward true equity and equality for all Americans, and to achieve racial justice. We will not tolerate bigotry, and we will not stop marching until the promise of America is available to all.”