Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said that laws abolishing the death penalty, legalizing gay marriage and raising the minimum wage represented the modern "calling of conscience to action" while speaking Wednesday at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
O'Malley, who has strongly hinted that he plans to pursue the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, said there was an "urgent" need to attend to the "work of justice."
"The responsibility we consecrate today is not rooted in nostalgia or memory — it is rooted in something far deeper," O'Malley said.
O'Malley added that "action that abolishes the death penalty and improves public safety in every neighborhood regardless of income or color" and "actions that create jobs and raises the minimum wage" would strengthen the country.
The Maryland Democrat also warned that Americans must allow "no comfort in our country for the bigotry of cold indifference."
"There are still too many lives in America taken from us by violence, still too many children in America who go to bed hungry, who go to school hungry," O'Malley said. "Still too much apathy when the lives of people of color are too often valued less than the lives of white people."