Hightower Press Release

Hightower to be keynote speaker at Motherlode Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration


Music and mind tickling commentary will be featured at this year’s annual Motherlode Martin Luther King, Jr. event on Sunday, January 24, 2:30 pm at the Sonora High School Auditorium.  The free event will host nationally known columnist, radio commentator, journalist, public speaker and author Jim Hightower, and the musical talents of the Gwen Amey Gospel Choir, Michelle Allison and Dennis Brown.
Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that “the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom.” He is a leading voice for those he designates “the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top.” As he describes his life, he “has spent four decades battling the powers that be on behalf of the powers that ought to be: working families, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.” His nationally distributed newspaper column appears on the opinion page of the Union Democrat.
 
Jim Hightower has been called many things, including irascible and a hilarious curmudgeon. He has been compared to Will Rogers who, in 1939, also spoke at the Sonora High School Auditorium.
American historian Studs Terkel said of Hightower, “Thank God for Jim Hightower. Instead of leaving us stewing in anger and despair, he rallies us with stories of our own history and of our own neighbors, inspiring us to take charge of our own democracy’s destiny. And he leaves us laughing and thinking at the same time.”
 
Hightower talks about democracy as something that happens not just at election time, and not just with one event. He stresses that it’s an ongoing building process. “What created democracy was Thomas Paine and Shays’ Rebellion, the suffragists and the abolitionists and on down through Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez. And now it’s down to us,” Hightower says. He speaks about dialogue and grassroots partnerships to advance democratic values. It is these “partnerships” that lie underneath much of America’s can-do and know-how society.
 
Jim Hightower, “America’s most popular populist,” reinforces President Abraham Lincoln’s statement in the Gettysburg Address: “…government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” The Motherlode Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee is bringing Jim Hightower to Sonora to share his ideas and invites the public to be a part of the conversation. His website is http://www.jimhightower.com/.


The 21st annual Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration organized by the Motherlode MLK Jr. Committee also features the Gwen Amey Gospel Choir from Merced, as well as singers Dennis Brown and Michelle Allison. Following the program there is a free reception to which all are invited. The MLK Committee website is http://mlmartinlutherkingjr.org/. For more information contact MLK Committee member Pat Cervelli at patcervelli@frontiernet.net, or call 928-3494.