Kasich, who was one of the last survivors of the brutal 2016 GOP presidential primary, used his appearance on the panel to appeal to the audience to concentrate on working together to create stronger communities.
“We need to stop spending time focusing on people at the top when the problems we have in our society are right here in our own neighborhoods,” Kasich said to a crowded auditorium.
Kasich referenced his work toward expanding access to health care, mental illness resources and drug counsel. He characterized King as a leader who worked from the “bottom up” to urge politicians to bring about change.
“The person in Washington is not going to fix education in your neighborhood. It’s the people on the ground level at the school boards,” Kasich said.
The room became tense after several audience members asked Kasich, a possible contender for another White House bid, about race relations and how to proceed after the election.
“Conversations on race are healthy,” he said. “There’s still a long way to go, but if we don’t talk about race, it becomes the elephant in the room.”
Religion, he said, is what has been lost in society.
“We all need to live a life a little bit bigger than ourselves.”
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