“I rise today in strong support of H. Res. 43, which recognizes the efforts of those who serve their communities on Martin Luther King Day and promotes the holiday as a day of national service.
“During his life, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized the power of service to strengthen communities. In 1994, Congress made Martin Luther King Day a national day of community volunteerism to further commemorate Dr. King’s commitment to others.
“This King Day, as part of inauguration festivities, President-elect Barack Obama has encouraged all Americans to not only use this day to volunteer, but to also make a long-term commitment to community service.
“At home in Minnesota, and across the nation, many will volunteer to serve their communities by working at food banks, helping the homeless, and improving schools. Minnesotans have a proud tradition of civic engagement. In a study conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Minneapolis-St. Paul was ranked number one for volunteer rates in a large city.
“As we begin this new Congress and new White House Administration, I can think of no better way to strengthen our country than to help create change in out communities. I encourage everyone to get involved this Martin Luther King Day and to browse http://www.usaservice.org for volunteer opportunities. I also want to thank every Americans who will volunteer on Monday and those that continue to serve throughout the year.”
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-4) serves on the House Appropriations Committee.