At last night’s Elk Grove City Council Meeting, a decision was made to support efforts for the March for the Dream and MLK365 March rather than create a separate MLK Day March for the City of Elk Grove.
During the discussion, the City Council discussed the cost of a possible Elk Grove MLK Day March ($24,000) and also heard from prominent community members.
Last year’s MLK Day March in Elk Grove occurred on January 15. Controversially, it followed several racial incidents, including a racist note being left at DreamGirls Fine Hair Imports. Last year’s event was organized by Sonia Lewis, of Black Lives Matter Sacramento, and Sharie Wilson, owner of DreamGirls Fine Hair Salon. Elk Grove Tribune also participated in the “March Against Racism” as it was called by some participants. Most noteworthy, the speakers at last year’s Elk Grove MLK Day March included, Sonia Lewis of the Sacramento Black Lives Matter, Sharie Wilson, owner of DreamGirls Fine Hair Salon, Rev. Les Simmons of South Sacramento Christian Center, and Christopher Hoffman, Superintendent of the Elk Grove Unified School District.
During the City Council Meeting there were 2 options discussed. Option 1 included directing City of Elk Grove staff to produce an MLK Day March at a cost of approximately $24,000. Option 2 included sponsoring the March for the Dream, and adding Elk Grove presence in the MLK365 March and Diversity Expo at a cost of approximately $3,000. Important to note, the City Council heard from a number of people in the community, including Sam Starks, March for the Dream organizer, Rod Brewer, Cosumnes Community Services District Board Director (recently re-elected), Maureen Craft, former City Council candidate, Aliane Murphy-Hasan, 2nd Vice President of the Sacramento Chapter of NAACP, and Randy Bekker.
Cosumnes CSD Board Director Rod Brewer proposed collaboration between Cosumnes CSD and the City of Elk Grove for a Pancake Breakfast. Hence, all City Council Members seemed to support Brewer’s proposal. While Sam Starks advocated for support for March for the Dream, Maureen Craft and Aliane Murphy-Hasan advocated support of the MLK365 March. Craft indicated that MLK365 March would like to partner with the City of Elk Grove. Murphy-Hasan expressed that “the MLK365 Day March is not a Sacramento parade, it’s a regional parade.” She pointed out that people come out from the Bay Area to attend. The majority of speakers seemed to advocate supporting existing marches rather than creating a separate Elk Grove MLK Day March.
The City Council unanimously decided to support a Pancake Breakfast held by Cosumnes Community Services District on January 19 at Laguna Town Hall. It will be organized by Cosumnes Community Services District Board Director Rod Brewer. Furthermore, the City Council decided in favor of 1) supporting March for the Dream with $3000 for an entry level of sponsorship and 2) adding Elk Grove presence to the MLK365 March. Finally, the City Council agreed that the Multicultural Committee would be brought in and that City of Elk Grove staff could also work to support the CSD organized Pancake Breakfast.