CCNE honors MLK Day with “Celebration of Unity, Equality and Democracy”

Over the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr Day weekend, over 300 people gathered at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Bloomfield at a forum designed to promote greater democracy and end racial and economic inequality. A diverse group of Connecticut civil rights, labor, faith and community organizations came together to draft a plan for true racial and economic equality – including living wage jobs and reliable and high quality public services.

Our core problems are long term and cannot be solved by short term “band aids.” But our need to reverse the downward trend and make a difference in the lives of workers and communities is urgent and cannot wait.

Our core problems are interconnected and in many ways common. The same forces that push nearly all our economic growth to the tiniest minority of our wealthiest residents, ensure that they don’t pay their fair share of taxes. This denies state and local government the resources necessary to provide critical public services and build the critical public structures necessary to foster anything close to equal opportunity.  The same forces that appeal to bigotry, xenophobia and racism in order to divide us are the ones that attack unions for believing workers deserve decent pensions and health care, and the same forces that promote legislation that restricts workers’ rights.

We cannot allow these forces to divide us. We defeat them only by working together. The “Celebration of Unity, Equality and Democracy” was intended to kickoff both a long term Unity effort and to spur the group to engage right now in urgent actions that serve the long term change we envision.”

An ongoing coalition formed out of the event and will continue to work on key issues areas identified by the participants of founding groups, which represent close to 300,000 members across the state.

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