Philanthropist Eli Broad and county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas jointly signed a Martin Luther King Day piece at the Huffington Post that calls poverty the biggest civil rights issue and advocates for a single-payer system of health care. Some highlights of the rhetoric:
Today, a black man leads our nation and an African-American woman, Oprah Winfrey, is both one of America's wealthiest citizens and among its most influential cultural figures. King might never have imagined such accomplishments would occur in only a few decades; but he likely would also be astounded to see the degree to which poverty pervades our society today....
The explosion of poverty in our midst began before the current national economic crisis, and is so severe its ill-effects will persist even as the economy recovers. As we commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we must repeat his question, "where do we go from here?" Today in greater Los Angeles, we must ask if the downhill slide in working people's wages also threatens broader democratic advances that have defined us as a land of opportunity.
In addition to single-payer, they call for a simple majority requirement on the state budget.