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Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz

Kings Landing Women’s Service Club
41st Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast
Jan. 18, 2016

Thank you for inviting me, and congratulations to the Kings Landing Women’s Service Club on your 41st Annual Breakfast celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The outstanding work you do in our community is truly making a difference for families and individuals throughout Greater Baltimore.

I don’t have to tell you that 2015 was a tough year for our communities. And I think it’s safe to say that last spring’s uprising in the city took us all by storm, but it didn’t necessarily take us by surprise. That’s because those seeds of unrest were planted long ago and continue to sprout new growth today. It is our job – governments, citizens, and businesses alike – to communicate, collaborate and create a more fair and inclusive Baltimore for all. We must work together to address the socio-economic issues that compound existing tensions.

If we are going to move forward together as a county and a region, we have to break down the barriers that separate us. I am an optimistic person, and I really believe we can do that. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean that we give up on the ideal. We can’t give up. It is too important. And I’m certainly not the only one who feels that way.

Leaders Who Listened to Dr. King

President Obama

Talking about his post-presidential plans during his final State of the Union Address, President Obama alluded to the words of Dr. King when he said:

“I will be right there with you as a citizen, inspired by those voices of fairness and vision, of grit and good humor and kindness that helped America travel so far. Voices that help us see ourselves not, first and foremost, as black or white, or Asian or Latino, not as gay or straight, immigrant or native born; not as Democrat or Republican, but as Americans first, bound by a common creed. Voices Dr. King believed would have the final word – voices of unarmed truth and unconditional love.”

In citing Dr. King’s belief that "unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word," President Obama struck a harmonious chord in living rooms across the nation, and I couldn’t agree more: through truth, we are delivered, and through love, we are saved.

Ms. Marge Green

Now, another leader who drew from the wisdom of Dr. King was someone many of you knew well – your past president, Ms. Marge Green, who we sadly lost this past September. One of the original founding members of your group, Ms. Marge made her life’s work an offering of service and dedication to our community.   

By doing so, she truly embodied the words of Dr. King, who said, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?”

Ms. Marge didn’t hesitate to answer Dr. King’s call to action. Ms. Marge did a lot, and she is sorely missed by all who had the good fortune to know her. It is fitting that we honor Ms. Marge today as we join millions of Americans paying tribute to her hero, our country’s distinguished champion of Civil Rights and social change, Dr. Martin Luther King. And it is fitting that we continue an honest discourse moving forward, because I believe we all share a common vision for a bright future — not merely over the next five or ten years, but for generations to come.

Build a Foundation

We ask ourselves, “What do we want Baltimore to be 50 or 100 years from now? What kind of place do we want to leave to our children and grandchildren?”

We want to build the foundation for a way of life that will be cherished long after we’ve passed the torch to those who will follow.

We demand a Baltimore where everyone is valued – a place that everyone is proud to call home.

In closing, I thank Acting President Linda Hursey and the entire King’s Landing Women’s Service Club for having me here today, and for all your hard work. I wish for your continued success in 2016, and I know you’ll keep up the amazing work.

Revised November 15, 2017         



County Executive,
Kevin Kamenetz
Phone: 410-887-2450

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