Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy issued the following statement on the choice of Gov. Greg Abbott as Honorary Grand Marshal of the Toyota North Texas Martin Luther King Jr. Parade:

  The Texas AFL-CIO stands with the Arlington NAACP in criticizing the selection of Gov. Greg Abbott for an honorary post at the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in Arlington.

  The labor movement had an extraordinary relationship with King, who was assassinated while organizing sanitation workers in Memphis so they could have better livelihoods. None other than A. Philip Randolph Jr. - a legendary figure in the civil rights and voting rights movements and the long-time leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters - was the emcee on the day in 1963 when King delivered his immortal "I Have a Dream" speech as part of the March on Washington.

  Making Greg Abbott the Grand Marshal of a parade honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a mismatch of epic proportions. As Attorney General, Abbott supported the dilution of the federal Voting Rights Act and was instrumental in passage of "voter ID" laws that have compromised minority voting in Texas. As Governor, he championed SB 4, the "sanctuary cities" law. He backed the "bathroom bill" and signed a law letting taxpayer-funded agencies refuse to let gay couples adopt children. He pulled out all the stops in an attempt to take away the freedom of public employees to voluntarily steer a portion of their own paychecks to labor associations through payroll deduction. Abbott's idea of 'civil rights' is a scheme to steer tax dollars from community public schools to private schools.

  Courts have found that under Abbott's watch, Texas engaged in intentional discrimination with regard to voting and redistricting. 

  The Texas AFL-CIO and Tarrant County Central Labor Council will proudly participate in other MLK events, but, in solidarity with the Arlington NAACP, not the one in Arlington.



The Texas AFL-CIO is a state labor federation consisting of 235,000 affiliated union members who advocating for working families in Texas.