Over the past several months, we’ve witnessed the ongoing erosion of our rights as extremists across this country continue to advance policies that directly harm our nation’s poor and most vulnerable. The Supreme Court issued disgraceful rulings – one ending affirmative action, another blocking student debt relief, and a third that permits discrimination against members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, among others. These violent and immoral rulings severely hurt and directly impact the lives of 140 million poor and low-wealth people in our country. We deserve the right to thrive. We also marked 14 years since Congress last raised the federal minimum wage, which remains at an unlivable $7.25/hr. Our nation’s politicians are committing policy murder by failing to raise the minimum wage. Poverty is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the real moral question is where our country stands in relation to the poor. It’s Time to Act Now more than ever, we need to continue to mobilize, organize and register folks for a movement that fights to lift up poor and low-wealth people across this country. It can be easy to feel like, at every turn, systems of injustice are working to suppress the power of poor and low-wealth people. Major corporations like Starbucks are fighting vicious battles against workers fighting for a better life. Illegal reliance on child labor to fuel profits is shockingly on the rise. A new report shows that the private insurers used by Medicaid have denied millions of valid claims for health coverage at the same time as millions are losing their Medicaid. Meanwhile, workers from coast to coast are struggling in brutal summer heat as corporations profit off of their backs. Heat related deaths are on the rise, adding to a long list of ways in which poverty kills, one of the reasons ecological devastation is one of the pillars of the interlocking injustices the Poor People’s Campaign is fighting against. With all of these interlocking injustices, we must have an intersectional response. It reminds us that we cannot slow down as we build a moral movement to confront and combat the systems that hold the people of this nation down. We will continue to mobilize and demand an end to death by poverty as we build towards coordinated actions at state houses across the country early next year, followed by a mass gathering in Washington, D.C. in June 2024 and a massive voter engagement and education operation heading into the 2024 election. We will force poverty onto the national agenda and make our elected officials reckon with the facts of poverty as an American death sentence. The Poor People’s Campaign, Repairers of the Breach, Kairos Center, and the Institute for Policy Studies are taking stock of poverty in the U.S. with the release of new and updated fact sheets that examine the state of poverty and inequality at the national level and provide data for all 50 states and D.C. You can read a full breakdown of key findings from these fact sheets and the actions decision makers must take to alleviate poverty and reduce inequality in our communities here.
We need you to continue to build this movement. If you’re motivated to organize and mobilize with us, invite someone in your community to join the Poor People’s Campaign.
Building a Third Reconstruction We’re fighting for a Third Reconstruction, and need your help. The Third Reconstruction is a revival of our constitutional commitment to establish justice, provide for the general welfare, end decades of austerity, and recognize that policies centered on the 140 million poor and low-income people in the country are good economic policies that can heal and transform the nation. We must simultaneously deal with the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation and the denial of health care, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism that blames the poor instead of the systems that cause poverty. You can read the full text of the Third Reconstruction Resolution here. Forward Together, Not One Step Back, Bishop William J. Barber, II National Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign, President & Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis National Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign, Director of Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice