The struggle for civil rights is not over, and I am thrilled to have lifelong civil rights leader and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washington, D.C. as the featured speaker at the Sarasota County Democratic Party’s Kennedy-King dinner on February 24th.
Civil rights and equal opportunity for all has long been at the core of what it means to be a Democrat. But here we are in 2013, and we are still fighting for equal pay for women, fighting for our reproductive rights, for a fair shot for Americans of all races, and for the right of people to love whom they choose.
While we have made progress, there are those in Washington and in Tallahassee who would turn back the clock, take rights away, limit opportunities, and make it more difficult for some to succeed, or even be in control of their own lives. That’s why the struggle for civil rights continues.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has been on the front lines since the 1960s when she travelled to Mississippi and worked with civil rights stalwarts like Medgar Evers — and where she bore witness to the intensity of violence and Jim Crow repression in the South. Later, as the head of the New York City Human Rights Commission, she held the first hearings in the country on discrimination against women as a civil rights issue – something she has worked on for the many years since.