Sioux City Municipal Workers Clock In On MLK Day One Last Time

Jan 18, 2016

Sioux City municipal employees are at work Monday, but next year, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will be a paid holiday. A new contract negotiated by AFSCME for 400 city staff takes effect in 2017, and one provision included the civil rights leader's birthday. 

Sioux City's NAACP chapter says its been raising the issue of the federal holiday not being a city holiday for decades. 

"We do have to look at those inequities, and if we continue to close our eyes to the injustices, then they continue to build and they fester, and they become uglier than what they were once before," says Flora Lee, the chapter's president. "We are our brother's keeper and I think this holiday reminds us of that."

Gov. Terry Branstad is declaring this whole week “Martin Luther King Jr. Week,” by signing a proclamation Monday morning at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. 

Born on Jan. 15, 1929, King was the leader of the American civil rights movement, advocating for change through nonviolent civil disobedience. He was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968.