DOT takes service seriously.
Like many Americans, we honored the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Monday. But earlier today, we went a step further by challenging small and minority-owned business leaders to use their unique skills to serve others on a sustained basis.
We can forget Dr. King's legacy; we can remember Dr. King's legacy; or we can build on Dr. King's legacy. I prefer to build on it.
President Obama is calling on us once again to embrace the spirit of public service.
And it is in that spirit that on Monday, DOT senior leaders and employees joined me in a clean-up project near DC's Garfield Park. There, we removed graffiti, cleared debris, and cleaned up trash.
And we weren't alone. A number of local organizations joined us, including Living Classrooms, the Capital Riverfront BID, and Friends of Garfield Park. And across the country, thousands did their part in their own communities.
As Nicola Goren, head of the Corporation for National and Community Service said, "Dr. King spent his life in service to others, and it's exciting to see so many Americans out doing the same today."
It's simple, really. Each of us can make a difference, and each of us must. And that is what we told the small and minority-owned business community today.
As Brandon Neal, Director of our Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, said,
"This business community offers a unique resource for building on Dr. King's legacy. Together, we can harness our energies to make our communities better places to live."
We were honored to be joined by Phylicia Rashad, who told the business leaders that "Service is a way of life."
And that's the point, isn't it? We start with one day of service. Then we nourish that one day by asking business leaders to do what they can.
And that one day flowers into something that demonstrates a return to one of our nation's core values, responsibility to one's community.