Chet Culver today signed his first official proclamation since taking office four days ago. The proclamation named today Martin Luther King Junior Day, and the rest of the week M.L.K Jr. week. Culver later gave an address during the state celebration.
Culver says it is right that we honor the ideals of the man and teach every succeeding generation of Iowans what Doctor King fought for, so his work continues in our time. Culver returned to his campaign and inauguration themes, saying the state needs to build what he calls "One Iowa." Culver says the state must also work to close the discrepancies in our school system. Culver says the state needs to do more to recruit more diverse students to our universities, into our state government, and in our school system.
Culver says we need to work toward a more "fair and complete enforcement of our civil rights laws." Culver says that’s needed, "To show that we, that we place real value on diversity and upon the dignity and worth of every Iowan. We need to create safe and inclusive communities that are free from any form of discrimination, whether it is based on age, disability, sex, race or color." Culver says this will give Iowa the image of a state that embraces diversity.
Culver says the state will benefit in many ways by taking these steps. Culver says promoting diversity is "not just a desirable outcome for us as a community", but is "economically smart too." Culver says we live in an increasingly global economy. As he did in his inaugural, Culver says he cannot do it alone, and needs the help of everyone in the state.