Poor People's Campaign

December 10, 2020

The Poor People’s Campaign is putting its power behind get-out-the-vote efforts for two Senate runoff elections that will decide whether an agenda that includes health care for all, a living wage and a just COVID-19 relief package gets a vote in Congress. 

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, said the national campaign has been asked by the state coordinating committee to join its GOTV efforts. 

“Our work is nonpartisan but poor and low-income people cannot stay on the sidelines of any election, especially a Senate race,” Barber said. “The Senate has enormous influence and power over the policies that directly affect poor and low-income people — even more than a president in many instances.”

The national Poor People’s Campaign is supporting the work of the state coordinating committee by adding over 1,000 highly trained volunteers to do peer-to-peer outreach to several million poor and low-income eligible voters of every race and creed throughout the state and support voter protection on election day, Barber said. 

The national Poor People’s Campaign is supporting the work of the state coordinating committee by adding thousands of trained volunteers from across the nation but especially Georgia to call and text 1 million poor and low-income eligible infrequent voters of every race and creed.

The Georgia coordinating committee for the Poor People’s Campaign also is organizing a PPE-protected door-to-door canvassing strategy, especially in rural Georgia. 

In addition, the state campaign also asked national leaders to reach out to thousands of diverse clergy, who will call their counterparts in Georgia to engage eligible voters, Barber said. 

The pandemic has significantly worsened health and economic conditions for poor and low-income Georgians. 

  • As of Nov. 21, the state had 402,435 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 8,624 related deaths.
  • As of July 2020, 1.3 million renters in Georgia were at risk of eviction while 45% of households — 1,308,963 people — were enrolled in SNAP/food stamps in April 2020. 
  • As of Sept. 14, 45.9% of Georgia’s population, or about 3,650,000 people, have lost income due to the crisis while 52.5% of Georgia’s poor and low-income households experienced loss of employment income. About 500,000 poor and low-income people in Georgia reported that they sometimes or often do not have enough food to eat. 

And even before the pandemic: 

  • 45% of Georgia residents, or 4.6 million people, were poor or low-income. This includes 57% of children (1.4 million), 49% of women (2.5 million), 58% of Black people (1.8 million), 70% of Latinx people (728,000) and 35% of white people (1.8 million).
  • 1.4 million people in Georgia were uninsured as of 2018.  
  • 1.9 million made under $15 an hour — 47% of Georgia’s workforce as of 2018 — the 19th highest of all states. Although a living wage in Georgia would be $25.60 an hour, the minimum wage in the state was $7.25 in 2019. 

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 to address the five interlocking injustices of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism and a distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.  Our demands are reflected in our Jubilee Platform. In addition, we have listed 14 policy priorities for the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. That list with explanations can be found here along with videos of statements from the President and Vice President-Elect.

CONTACT: Martha Waggoner:  [email protected] | 919-295-0802