Over 200 Northern Virginia Democrats celebrated the 18th Kennedy-King Dinner in Alexandria on Thursday, October 13, with a rousing call to action by Eighth District Congressman Jim Moran and an inspirational 50th anniversary commemoration of the 1961 Freedom Rides, highlighted by the dinner keynoter, Congressman Bob Filner.
Congressman Filner has represented California’s 51st district in the San Diego area for 10 terms, following distinguished service in San Diego city government. He spoke powerfully about his early participation in the 1961 Freedom Rides. As an 18 year old Freshman at Cornell University, Filner was compelled to join the Freedom Rides by the Mothers Day firebombing of a Trailways bus carrying Freedom Riders. He recounted his father’s role in liberating the concentration camps at the end of World War II and his father’s subsequent role in helping support the early efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King to expand the civil rights struggle in the mid-1955. He urged the dinner guests to continue to engage in non-violent action to bring greater justice to our society.
Congressman Moran spoke about the current political situation and the importance of continued vigilance in bringing attention to the record of Republicans in the current Congress. Congressman Moran highlighted the need for Eighth District Democrats to do all they can to help maintain the Democratic majority in the Virginia Senate.
Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille welcomed the dinner participants to Alexandria and highlighted the importance of the election ahead. Many Northern Virginia Democratic leaders participated in the dinner, including State Senators Mary Margaret Whipple, Janet Howell, George Barker and Toddy Puller. Delegates Mark Sickles, Patrick Hope, Ken Plum, and Charniele Herring were among the House of Delegates members participating in the dinner. Many current and former local elected officials participated in the dinner.
Eighth District Democrats were pleased this year to have many Young Democrats participate in the dinner, including a number of YDs from the Washington-Lee High School Young Democrats Club, who ably assisted with dinner registration responsibilities.
The Eighth District Democratic Committee thanks its supporters for their participation in the dinner. Watch your e-mail for the 19th annual dinner in September, 2012.