February 15, 2021
WHAT: The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival goes virtual in its fight for $15/hour and will reschedule its in-person event at the West Virginia office of Sen. Joe Manchin because of the forecast for an ice storm. The West Virginia Poor People’s Campaign decided to postpone the in-person event, and the national campaign is following the state committee’s lead. This online rally with a focus on impacted people from West Virginia and Manchin will include supporters from across the nation as we demand that any COVID relief include $15/hour.
WHO: Low-income and moral advocates in West Virginia and other states, with the co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, will speak out about the dire need of 62 million people, including 40% of Black workers, who make less than a living wage. While $15/hour is not a living wage everywhere, it will lift millions of people out of poverty and give them hope for a future that includes a roof over their heads, food on the table and other necessities of life.
WHEN: 3 p.m. ET / noon PT Monday, Feb. 15.
WHERE: Online at https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/livestream/.
WHY: The demand for $15/hour is as big a fight as the one for the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act in the 1960s. A relief bill must include relief that helps the people who need it the most — the 140 million poor and low-income people who live in this country, a number that has only increased in a pandemic. In West Virginia, 710,000 people are poor or low-income and across the South, not including West Virginia, that number is almost 50 million. The mandate for $15/hour lies with the 55% of poor and low-income people who voted for this president and vice president, not in the halls of Congress. They were the first to return to work, the first to be infected and the first to die, and they must not be last in line for relief. This administration and Congress must respect us, protect us and pay us. Poor and low-income people, who showed their power at the ballot box in the last election, can change political will because a moral, constitutional agenda is a sound economic agenda as well as we lay out in our 14 Policy Priorities to Heal the Nation: A Moral and Economic Agenda for the first 100 days.
**The event will be ASL interpreted and open captioned.
BACKGROUND: Nationally, 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 45 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.
Martha Waggoner: [email protected]| 919-295-0802