MLK Day: How the Obama administration will celebrate
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Today is the second federal holiday of the year. Most government employees and officials have the day off. The U.S. Postal Service is not delivering mail today and post offices are closed. As for The Federal Eye, blogging will be lighter than normal.
If YOU are looking for a meaningful way to pass the day, visit MLKDay.gov, an official government Web site operated by the Corporation for National and Community Service that allows you to type in your hometown or ZIP code and find nearby volunteer opportunities.
Though it's officially a holiday, most Obama administration officials will spend the day participating in volunteer activities as part of the National Day of Service.
Here's a rundown of the schedule of events, as provided by the White House:
-- President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are scheduled to participate in a community service project in the Washington area. Vice President Biden and Jill Biden will participate in a community service project in their hometown of Wilmington, Del.
-- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is scheduled to attend the Defense Department's official observance program in the Pentagon's auditorium.
-- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to speak at the opening convocation of the Howard School of Divinity. Keeping in line with her ongoing defense of the health-care reform law, Sebelius is expected to discuss how the Affordable Care Act is a victory for civil rights, according to the White House.
-- Education Secretary Arne Duncan is scheduled to speak at a breakfast hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network and will later participate in a service project at Kramer Middle School in Southeast Washington. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is also scheduled to attend the breakfast.
-- Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is set to serve meals at So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.) in Washington.
-- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes are scheduled to join Transportation Department employees in a series of events at Ballou Senior High School in the District. The employees, along with Ballou and George Washington University students are set to paint murals, cover up graffiti and clean the school grounds.
-- Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew is scheduled to visit New York and participate in a service event with more than 1,700 volunteers at a Brooklyn school.
-- Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams and deputy Carrie Hessler-Radelet are scheduled to serve dinners at Miriam's Kitchen in Washington.
-- On Sunday, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. spoke at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King pastored. He later sidestepped questions about gun-control laws from reporters despite describing the recent Arizona mass shooting as "senseless" during his address to the congregation.
-- On Friday General Services Administration Administrator Martha Johnson participated in a rededication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Building in Atlanta.
-- Last Thursday Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack attended a USDA King Day celebration at headquarters in Washington.
-- Also last Thursday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and others visited the future site of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial near the Jefferson Memorial to view the ongoing construction. The site is expected to open later this year.
| January 17, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Administration, Eye Opener
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