March 4, 2018

Update: The new Poor People's Campaign

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair Poor People's Campaign: We’re addressing five broad issue areas. The first is systemic racism, which we see as including voter suppression, racist gerrymandering, immigration, and mass incarceration.

The second is poverty and includes fair wage campaigns, the need for affordable housing, and access to education and health care.

Third is the war economy, the declared and undeclared wars that the U.S. is waging, and the way economic priorities tilt toward militarism and basically line the pockets of military contractors.

These were the three issues that Dr. King spoke of in the first Poor People’s Campaign, issues that he believed were inextricably connected. But now we’re facing additional concerns. During the 50 years between the first campaign and today, we’ve experienced enormous environmental destruction and climate change, shifts that disproportionately affect the poor. We have to talk about this and look at how fracking, mountaintop coal removal, and the construction of oil and gas pipelines are devastating communities.

Lastly, we’re putting a spotlight on the distorted moral narrative that blames the poor for their problems and presents abortion, gun rights, and gay and trans issues as the main moral issues facing the country.

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