Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, served as grand marshal for Monday’s 32nd annual Kingdom Day Parade as more than 200,000 people were expected for the nation’s largest celebration of the life of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
With a theme of, “Now More Than Ever, We All Must Work Together,” the parade began at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue, headed west on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Crenshaw Boulevard, then proceed south, concluding at Vernon Avenue.
Waters’ House colleagues set to join her in the parade include Reps. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, and Nanette Barragan, D-San Pedro, according to organizers.
Other elected officials set to participate include state Treasurer John Chiang; Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones; City Attorney Mike Feuer; City Controller Ron Galperin; Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, state Sens. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, and Holly J. Mitchell, D-Los Angeles; Assemblymen Mike A. Gipson, D-Carson; Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles and Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles; and Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, D- Inglewood.
There will be more than 100 units in the parade — floats, bands, equestrian units and dance and martial arts groups.
Groups marching in the parade include the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, seeking to promote the messages that AIDS is a civil rights issue and access to care and treatment for people with HIV and AIDS should be a universal human right.
Metro’s entry in the parade is a replica of the bus Rosa Parks was riding in when she was arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white rider in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955.
The entry is intended to highlight the role of public transit in the civil rights movement and mark the 61st anniversary of Parks’ arrest and the subsequent bus boycott, which became a catalyst of the movement.
The parade was one of many around the Southland celebrating King’s life, legacy and philosophy. Courts were closed, there was no mail and many workers had the day off in observation of the event.
—City News Service
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