A large crowd of San Diegans gathered Downtown Monday afternoon in observance of the city’s 2nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day March.
When Dr. Martin Luther King was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968, he was in town supporting sanitation workers on strike over the issue of income inequality.
Organizers of Monday’s march said that same issue is the most pressing problem here in San Diego, especially when it comes to homelessness.
After the Mayor's State of the City address on Thursday that included a big announcement of plans for a homeless intake center in the East Village, the topic was very much on the minds of the marching crowd.
“In the richest country in the world, that this is going on? It ain't right,” Clairemont resident Walter Cameron said.
Cameron went on to describe the march as “the start of illuminating a conversation about what must be done. It’s the start of bringing people together around these things. It’s the start of encouraging empathy for our brothers and sisters who need help.”
Several city, faith and community leaders present at the march, like San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez, echoed Cameron’s sentiment.
“Marching for jobs, marching against poverty and marching against inequality,” Alvarez listed. “Why is it 50 years later and we're still marching for the same things?
Others were more critical and placed the problem at the hans of city officials.
“I think that the mayor and city council are trying to do something, but I don't think they understand the significance of being able to have opportunity and subsidized housing first for these folks out here,” San Diego National Action Network (NAN) President Rev. Shane Harris said.
The march was also a call to register and mobilize voters, with Rev. Harris announcing the NAN’s goal to register 200 voters by June.