Defending the Dream: 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington

28 Aug, 23

Dear Friends, 

Today, we commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom—a day that still echoes through our collective consciousness. As we reflect on this pivotal moment in history and the iconic words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we must recommit ourselves to the pursuit of economic justice and the fulfillment of Dr. King's dream. These ideals are under attack as some fight to roll back progress through voter suppression and chip away at fundamental rights.

Dr. King's speech contained an indictment of the nation's unfulfilled promise, characterized as a "bad check" given to its citizens. His metaphor encapsulated the disconnect between our professed ideals and the harsh realities of economic disparity and inequality.

Sixty years later, in our own Harris County, economic disparities cast shadows over the lives of countless families. The abundance of our region juxtaposed against the struggles of these families underscores our collective responsibility to rectify this injustice.

Guided by this urgency, I was proud to announce Harris PROSPERS (Pathways to Realize Opportunity, Security, Potential, Equity, Resilience, and Safety) last month, a plan and a promise to rewrite the narrative of our community. Harris PROSPERS seeks to provide more than just a temporary respite from financial hardship; it aims to lay the foundation for lasting prosperity. This includes major investments in housing affordability, a guaranteed income to the most vulnerable, job training, worker safety, and much more.

At its core, Harris PROSPERS embodies Dr. King's call for economic justice—a dignified life where individuals possess stable incomes, safe and affordable homes, and access to opportunities for self-improvement. A life where no family is forced to choose between essentials and aspirations. Harris PROSPERS is a down payment toward realizing Dr. King’s Dream.

I hope you’ll visit to learn more about our efforts to transform our community into one where prosperity is not an elusive dream but an accessible reality. And I hope you’ll spend this day reflecting on your own potential to advance Dr. King’s Dream.

In unity and resolve,

Rodney Ellis