February 22, 2021
WHAT: The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival takes the fight for $15/hour to the streets with a socially distanced, in-person Moral Monday event in Washington, D.C., and at senators’ offices in West Virginia, Arizona, New York, New Hampshire, Illinois, Michigan and California. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II will join a rally outside the West Virginia office of Sen. Joe Manchin. We demand that any COVID relief include $15/hour and healthcare for all. This Moral Monday follows our meeting with Sen. Manchin on Thursday, when low-wage workers told him that they are desperate to earn more money to help them survive. Because of COVID, a limited number of people will attend these in-person events.
WHO: Low-wage workers and moral activists in six states, Washington, D.C., and from across the nation digitally from the Poor People’s Campaign, SEIU, CWA and One Fair Wage will speak out about the dire needs 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. Rev. Barber will be live in West Virginia while Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, will join the program online. In addition to the in-person programs, we will encourage thousands of people online to contact senators, including Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who has said $15/hour doesn’t belong in the COVID relief bill. Both online and in-person, we also will support healthcare for all, Medicaid expansion and vaccine equity.
WHEN: 3 p.m. ET / Noon PT Monday, Feb. 22.
WHERE: Sen. Joe Manchin’s office at 900 Pennsylvania Ave., Charleston, West Virginia. In Washington, D.C., on the National Mall, 4th Street SW between Madison & Jefferson (two blocks from Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Park, diagonal from Native American Museum). In Phoenix, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s office, 3333 E Camelback Road. In New Hampshire, office of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, 2 Wall St, Manchester, and office of Sen. Maggie Hassan, 14 Manchester Square, Portsmouth. In New York City, the office of Sen. Chuck Schumer, 780 3rd Ave. In San Francisco, the office of Sen. Diane Feinstein, One Post St., Suite 2450. In Chicago, the office of Sen. Tammy Duckworth, 230 South Dearborn St., Suite 3900. Also online at https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/livestream/
WHY: Rev. Barber describes this fight for $15/hour now as “our economic Selma.” This issue is as big a fight as the ones for FDR’s New Deal during the Great Depression, 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. Poor and low-income people 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 online 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