Last weekend I stood on the Edmond Pettus Bridge in Selma to honor the 50th anniversary of the historic Selma to Montgomery march.
Thousands of other people, including our President, traced the steps of those who stood then at a moment in time and declared, at great risk to themselves, that they would go forward.
Finding my way to Selma is a journey to a high point in Civil Rights history that I could not imagine ignoring. I came here for my own sense of commitment but also as a way of saluting those brave men and women who gave so much in order for us to enjoy the right to vote.
Had it not been for Bloody Sunday, I doubt there would have been a Voting Rights Act. That form of brutality set in motion a truer democracy in this land. It was a watershed moment in the history of Civil Rights in this nation.
But this fight is not yet over. Just like 50 years ago was a moment in a series of moments that changed the direction of our country, we continue to face choices and decisions to determine our future direction. The marchers showed that the answer is not violence, but standing up for ourselves and our rights and making a space in our society for all of our rights to be upheld.
Because politics is an ongoing series of critical decisions and choices for our future, I have made the decision to keep influencing those choices by running for re-election in 2016. I want to continue representing the people of the 2nd district, and make opportunity for working families to create better lives for themselves and their children. I want Los Angeles County to be a place where we all can come together and treat each other with respect. I hope someday there will be equal opportunity for all, regardless of the color of their skin, their gender, who they love, their language or what their background may be.
I walk in the steps of those that came before, and hope in optimism for those that come after.