MLK's legacy lives on in Milwaukee

Posted at 12:45 PM, Jan 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-18 21:47:06-05

The largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in the state came with a call for action.

City and state officials all shared the same message: Dr. King's theme of love and inclusiveness is more important now than ever.
"When we think of Dr. King it seems like a long time ago, but then when you watch what's going on in your world, the things that they were fighting for, we're still fighting for," said Milwaukee Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing.

"You look at race relations and that they're at an all time low," said State Representative Mandela Barnes. "We have to remember the dream of Dr. King. Everybody throughout our society, we have to remember that through persistence, through love and through collaboration is how we get to a higher point than we are now."

Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett took that thought even further. He pleaded for financial help for the city's YMCA, saying giving to the "Y" is one way you can help the kids in the inner city; the same kids Dr. King was trying to help.

"We can all rail about the bad things in our city, but you don't know what you've got till it's gone," he said. "But unfortunately, I believe that The Y is threatened in a way that has never been threatened before, and if we want the young people in our community that are served by The Y to continue to get those services, now is our time to step up to support The Y.

The YMCA filed for bankruptcy in summer 2014 and several Y's had to be sold to neighboring communities.