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Charles Booker on Breonna Taylor, uniting Louisville

"When we say Breonna Taylor's name, it’s even bigger than what happens now."

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — State Rep. and former Senate candidate Charles Booker spoke at the 2020 March on Washington Friday, the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

"From Kenosha to Kentucky, to the hood where I'm from to the hollers in Appalachia to everywhere in between, those cries let us know we have more marching to do," Booker said.

Booker spoke about the dreams early civil rights activists had, calling for people today to demand real justice and accountability.

"If we come together — all of us, if we stand united, if we march together, if we bend that arc together, there is nothing we can't do," Booker said. "There is no mountain we can't move and there is no root of racism that we cannot pull up."

The Louisville native spoke to WHAS11's Doug Proffitt before his speech, discussing Breonna Taylor's death and the importance of the movement.

"When we say Breonna Taylor's name, it’s even bigger than what happens now. It's bigger than the decision [Attorney General Daniel Cameron] makes," Booker said. "It’s about us doing the work that our city has been needing that has allowed us to become the most segregated city in the country."

Booker said it is critical to have leadership that reflects the communities most marginalized, saying whoever the next mayor is needs to look at how the city is investing in its people.

Many in Louisville have expressed fear that the city has moved further from racial harmony, with Louisville Urban League President Sadiqa Reynolds saying the city is at a tipping point. Booker said he understands the fears, but hopes of a new day despite regardless of Cameron’s decision.

"I want justice, I want accountability," Booker said. "We have to be working together to chart the course forward — our vision of what we want Louisville to be, so that we make sure that no one else's door gets kicked in."

Booker said people must respect and honor people's pain and anger, but said he will make sure he is a voice in helping discuss how the city can move forward.

"That's where my hope lies, in our ability to come together as Kentuckians, as Louisvillians," Booker said. "Pain gives you the opportunity to ignite your passion and to push for world change, and I believe that we are ready to do that in this moment. So my hope is strong in the people of Louisville."

Booker's interview can be heard on The Proffitt Report, available on any podcast platform:

RELATED: Kentuckians to join tens of thousands for March on Washington

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