U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) will give the keynote speech at the Kick-Off Program for the 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Statewide Celebration at 6:30 p.m. Friday, February 8 in the Main Auditorium of the Dr. Henry Givens, Jr. Administration Building at Harris-Stowe State University, 3026 Laclede Ave. This event is free and open to the public.

A native of Kinloch, Waters is the first black and the first woman to chair the powerful House Financial Services Committee. Having served on this committee since 1995 and as its Ranking Member in the previous Congress, Waters sets the committee’s agenda in key areas affecting the economy, banking, housing, insurance and securities.

“The fiery and bold black lawmaker who earned a reputation for challenging Wall Street and major lenders during the housing crisis will now set the direction for a range of financial players, regulators, and institutions,” Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending wrote in The American.

“From monetary policy to the production and distribution of currency, and expanding financial access to affordable housing options, a progressive and principled committee chair is running the show. She is also expected to set standards of performance that level the financial playing field and hold lenders accountable when they take advantage of consumers or discriminate in their lending.”

Waters spoke at the St. Louis County NAACP’s Freedom Fund Leadership Dinner in 2017, when she also received a Margaret Bush Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award, along with former Missouri Governor Bob Holden.

“As a people and community, we cannot sit back and allow our country to be destroyed by Donald Trump,” Waters said then. “Our resolve must be to unite and fight so that we can ‘rise together.’ And, in the words of the millennials, ‘Stay Woke.’”

Waters said she sees her role in this unprecedented time in history as “opposing the most unqualified, the most dishonorable man to ever serve in the office of the president – Donald Trump.”

“Donald Trump is a bully, he’s a demagogue and a disgusting and indecent man who has no genuine concern for the African-American community and all they have contributed to this country,” Waters said.

“As Donald Trump parades around this country, claiming that he, and he alone, will make American great again – what he really needs to understand is that African Americans have already done more to make this country great than he ever will.”

The honorees at this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Statewide Celebration include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Centene Corporation, World Wide Technology, Rev. Earl Nance Jr., Adolphus Pruitt of the NAACP, and Donald M. Suggs, publisher of The St. Louis American.

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