South Georgia Local News

State Lawmaker Selected as Grand Marshal for Savannah’s 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade

State Representative Carl Gilliard (D-Savannah) was recently selected by the Savannah Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Day Association to serve as one of the grand marshals for the 43rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade on January 16, 2023.

“As a Savannah native, this parade is one of my favorite traditions, so I am honored to serve as a leader for one of the largest MLK Day celebrations in the nation,” said Rep. Gilliard. “I look forward to celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King, as well as marching through the streets in an effort to stand up against racism and discrimination.”

The Observance Day Association announced the new grand marshals during the 2023 Parade Grand Marshals and Trailblazer Reception on October 30 at Savannah State University. Carolyn S. Blackshear, past president of the Observance Day Association, will also serve as a grand marshal for the 2023 parade. The theme for the 43rd annual celebration is “inspiration of equality is, he himself.”

Rep. Gilliard was selected for his service as a state legislator for the Savannah area. In 2019, Rep. Gilliard chaired the House Study Committee on Gang and Youth Violence Prevention, and he also chaired the Chatham County Legislative Gang Prevention and Intervention Commission. In 2009, he formed Savannah Feed The Hungry, which has served more than 1.5 million meals to low income individuals in 14 cities across Georgia and South Carolina. In 2019, Rep. Gilliard opened the Garden City Empowerment Center to provide comprehensive support services to Savannah residents. Since its creation, the center has assisted nearly 250 people with purchasing homes and has aided more than 40 people with their Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certifications. He recently partnered with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to help hundreds of citizens receive rental assistance through the Georgia Rental Assistance Program. Rep. Gilliard was also selected by the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus as its 2021 Legislator of the Year for his part in successfully repealing Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law. Rep. Gilliard also authored House Bill 79, legislation signed into law in 2019 to prohibit government agencies and local authorities from discriminating against parents and legal guardians who are blind.

For more information about the 2023 parade and other related events, please click here.

Representative Carl Gilliard represents the citizens of District 162, which includes portions of Chatham County. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2016 and currently serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Economic Development and the Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment, Insurance, Interstate Cooperation, State Properties, Creative Arts & Entertainment and Transportation committees.

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