Martin Luther King Jr. Day is traditionally a day for honoring, and for politicking, in New York City. But this year, the Democrats running for mayor split on where to spend it.
Public advocate Bill de Blasio traveled to Washington with his family to watch the presidential inauguration in person.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn did too -- and tweeted from receptions with New York legislators, equal pay advocate Lily Ledbetter and supporters of Emily's List, the group that fundraises for women candidates, including Quinn herself.
Comptroller John Liu and Bill Thompson spent the day making stops at MLK and inauguration events in New York. At Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem, Liu repeated his call to raise the city's minimum wage to $11.50, and connected his career to the work of Dr. King.
"Someone whose work without which someone like me could never stand before you as an elected official," Liu said.
At the same event, Bill Thompson avoided policy specifics, and talked about his father, a former NAACP leader, and implored the mostly black crowd to remember their shared history.
"Remember what it's like to struggle. Remember what it's like to overcome. Remember what it's like to suffer discrimination,” Thompson said.
That annual King service in Harlem is traditionally a draw for area politicians, but running at the same time as the inauguration thinned the crowd. Even one of the Baptist preachers hosting the event ducked out early to catch the president's speech.
“I'm going to hear the president's address. I cannot pass up this historic speech he's going to make today,” Rev. John L. Scott said after delivering the opening message, and he was off to watch President Obama from Sylvia’s.