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King County honors its namesake for the 26th year


King County Executive
Dow Constantine

King County honors its namesake for the 26th year


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remembered at annual event


Hundreds of people filled the 5th Avenue Theatre in downtown Seattle today to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during King County's 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The theme for this year's event was "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

"Dr. King told us something very important: we are all connected," said King County Executive Dow Constantine, the keynote speaker for today's celebration. "Every success is built on a network of support. The actions we take as a county to create strong, healthy, and vibrant communities benefit us all."

"This week as we celebrate Dr. King's birthday, we are also cognizant that it is the 50th anniversary of the 'March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom' where Dr. King gave his renowned speech, 'I Have a Dream,'" said King County Council Chair Larry Gossett. "Many of the issues that Dr. King spoke about at the March on Washington remain relevant today, reminding us that we have a long way to go to reaching equality and freedom in the U.S. and abroad. However, the one big difference on Monday is that on Dr. King's birthday this year, our nation will be seeing an African-American President sworn in for his second term."

Along with paying tribute to Dr. King, King County also honored the winners of the annual Martin Luther King Essay Contest, sponsored by the King County Civil Rights Commission. Eighth graders throughout King County were asked to reflect on the celebration's theme. The winners, all from Lake Washington Girls Middle School, are:

  • First place: Quinn Angelou-Lysaker
  • Second place: Chloe Mae Sheppard Shaw
  • Third place: Ada Bowles
The winning essays are available on the Commission's website at

Attendees at the annual celebration also enjoyed musical performances by The Sound of the Northwest, opera soloist Cheryse McLeod Lewis, and the MLK Employee Singers. Photos from the event can be seen on the King County Flickr stream,

The 26th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration can be seen on King County TV, Comcast and Broadstripe cable channel 22, on the following dates:

  • Jan. 17 at 8 p.m.
  • Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.
  • Jan. 20 at 6 p.m.
The program will also be repeated over the next several weeks. Check the KCTV online schedule at for additional dates and times.

KCTV will also show the celebration via streaming video. From the KCTV web page, click on "Search Original Programming," and then search under "Public Events."

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography