Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's stance on the filibuster the focus of voting rights rally led by King family

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Saturday, January 15, 2022 - 9:33pm
Updated: Monday, January 17, 2022 - 2:25pm

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Martin Luther King III
Harrison Mitchell
Martin Luther King III speaks in Phoenix on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022.

Elected officials, civil rights leaders, interfaith leaders and community activists joined Martin Luther King III and his family at an event in Phoenix on Saturday, focused on the passage of federal voting rights protections.

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema this week reiterated that she would not bypass the filibuster in order to pass voter protections, making her the primary topic of conversation for most speakers at Saturday’s event.

Martin Luther King III addressed Sinema during his speech.

“My father died in the fight for civil rights. And it's time for those who do believe in his legacy to differentiate themselves with action. Mr. President, Sen. Sinema, the time is now,” said King.

Kyrsten Sinema
Kyrsten Sinema

Arndrea Waters King is the president of the Drum Major Institute, a nonprofit started by Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the wife of Martin Luther King III.

“I ask Sen. Sinema and Sen. Manchin, and all those who stand in the way of voting rights, is that the legacy you want to leave behind? Because this isn't just a single moment in the life of our nation. This is a moment that will define all of the moments to come,” said King.

Rally participants marched from Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church to Eastlake Park Saturday morning. 

Martin Luther King III and his family will lead another voting rights rally in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

Hear hosts Mark Brodie and Lauren Gilger discuss the event on The Show

Martin Luther King Jr. Day has a complicated history in Arizona, which was the last state to recognize it. That happened in 1992, when voters approved it.

But Arizona and King himself didn't always have a rocky relationship. In 1964, King spoke at Arizona State University. And in 2014, the audio from the event was uncovered.

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