Friday, July 19, 2024

Did you know that there are about 140 million poor and low income people in the United States – white, black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American – making up 40 percent of the national population, and that poverty is the fourth-leading cause of death in America?

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival was founded in 2017 to address these issues. The Poor People’s Campaign is a highly diverse umbrella movement lifting from the bottom up, bringing together many organizations and individuals nationwide, working from the grassroots to the policy level to build power for change.

 

Poverty is also a reality in Massachusetts, where 1 in 3 people are poor or low-income, low-wage workers. The Greater Boston Food Bank reports that out of our state population of 7 million, 2 million people are food insecure. The Massachusetts chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign is organizing people around these issues in our state.

On June 29,, the National Poor People’s Campaign is holding a Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers Assembly and Moral March on Washington, D.C., and to the polls. Poor and low-wage workers, affected people and allies will join us in the nation’s capital to demand that those running for elected office this year embrace a moral public policy agenda that includes our 17 demands:

  • Abolishing poverty as the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States
  • A living minimum wage of at least $15-plus per hour, indexed for inflation
  • Full and expanded voting rights
  • No more voter suppression
  • Guaranteed workers’ rights and labor rights
  • Health care for all
  • Affordable, adequate housing
  • Strong social welfare and safety net programs
  • An end to gun violence, profit and proliferation
  • Fully protected women’s rights
  • Environmental justice that secures clean air and water
  • Justice for all Indigenous nations
  • Fully funded public education
  • Just immigration laws
  • Addressing militarism and the war economy
  • Standing for peace, not war; an immediate cease-fire in Gaza that allows humanitarian relief, the release of all hostages and peace with justice; and an end to genocide around the world
  • An end to hate, division and extremist political agendas

Our goal after the June 29 march is to reach 15 million poor and low-wage infrequent voters nationally through intensive organizing and outreach. If all poor and low-wage people in Massachusetts voted, they would make up one-quarter of the electorate, with a significant impact to follow. That’s why Massachusetts will participate in this voter registration drive.

What can you do?

Come to the march in Washington, D.C., on June 29. Massachusetts PPC are organizing buses so everyone who wants to will be able to go.

Watch and share the June 29 event online if you can’t come in person.

To get involved in our work and to get our newsletter, please email [email protected]. For information, see www.poorpeoplescampaign.org.


Jenny Bonham-Carter is a Somerville resident and the music and arts (theomusicology) coordinator for the Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign.