December 15, 2020
Poor, low-income people, moral leaders, economists & public health experts to present policy priorities to Biden team
WHAT: The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival meets Thursday with members of the Biden domestic policy transition team to discuss its 14 policy priorities for the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration. This meeting, which the transition team sought, will be followed by a press availability that includes our co-chairs and others who attended the meeting. The campaign wanted to meet with incoming White House policy experts now because Biden and Harris have addressed the Poor People’s Campaign at least three times since 2019. We expect to meet with Biden and Harris after the inauguration when we will bring poor and low-income people, economists, and moral and religious leaders connected to the campaign to the White House.
We must use intentional and specific policies to guarantee genuine democracy, health and a sound economy while we uplift the 140 million poor and low-income people in this nation. Poor and low-income people across the country insist that they be included in every aspect of our democracy.
These priorities seek to heal the nation by providing specific policy proposals and demands that begin to address systemic poverty, systemic racism, ecological devastation, denial of health care, the war economy and religious nationalism that are interlocking threats to the hopes of a genuine democracy and a just economy. Our campaign’s foundation of moral fusion organizing demands that we both focus on moral public policy positions and insist that the needs of poor and low-income people be centered, regardless of who holds individual positions. Our policies are informed by the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington June 20th that more than 2.7 million viewed online.
WHO: Poor and low-income people, along with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, and key policy advisers on various issues. They include advisers from the Economic Policy Institute, the Institute for Policy Studies, Forward Justice, the Harvard School of Public Health, Climate Reality and religious leaders from Christian, Jewish, evangelical and other religious traditions.
The impacted people who are participating include Mary Jane Shanklin, a family farmer from Kansas; Fernando Garcia of El Paso, who is organizing at the U.S./Mexico border; Robert Taylor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Louisiana, an area known as Cancer Alley; and Chris Olive, a formerly homeless veteran in Washington state.
WHEN: Meeting with the transition team begins at 2 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Pacific on Thursday, Dec. 17. Press availability begins at 3:45 p.m. Eastern/12:45 p.m. Pacific.
WHY: When President-elect Joe Biden addressed over 1.5 million people at a Poor People’s Campaign online event on Sept. 14, he promised that “ending poverty will not just be an aspiration, it will be a theory of change—to build a new economy that includes everyone, where we reward hard work, we care for the most vulnerable among us, we release the potential of all our children, and protect the planet.” The campaign has been in conversation with the Biden team since the election, and this will be the first of many meetings between the Poor People’s Campaign and the new administration. Poor and low-income people were a critical part of the historic coalition that elected the Biden-Harris administration with at least 6 million more voting this year than in 2016. Fifty-five percent of poor and low-income voters cast ballots for the Biden-Harris ticket. Our study, “Unleashing the Power of Poor and Low-Income Americans,” showed that nearly 30% of the nation’s voters live in poverty or are low-income.
BACKGROUND: More than 140 million poor and low-income people live in the United States, or 43% of the country’s population, and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, with organizing committees in 43 states, is building a moral fusion movement of white, Black, Indigenous, Latino and Asian men and women of different religions and political beliefs. Our overall demands are reflected in our Jubilee Platform.
CONTACT: Martha Waggoner: [email protected] | 919-295-0802