Below are quotes from Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, a movement of poor people fighting poverty across this country. They will lead an online program on Monday, Aug. 3, when they will demand a congressional relief bill that helps poor and low-income people.
Please consider the perspective of those most impacted when you report on the status of the latest COVID-19 stimulus bill.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II: “Sen. McConnell’s actions have created misery and mayhem, and they are just plain mean. He has over and over again given money to corporations and banks while undermining real help for poor Americans and low-wage workers. He blocks living wages, health care and voting rights. Now he even wants to reduce unemployment assistance in the midst of a pandemic. While he rushed to pass relief bills in the spring that gave 83% of a record investment in recovery to corporations and banks, he is holding up an extended moratorium on evictions for millions who could become homeless to try to get legal immunity for companies that forced people back to work in dangerous conditions. His actions are causing social misery, and when people die, those actions become a form of political violence and murder. The Scriptures call this ‘legislating evil.’ He must be challenged because his actions are causing great harm to the entire country and to fundamental human rights for all people.
“The campaign will send Bibles and copies of the U.S. Constitution to McConnell’s office to remind him and his staff that his cruelty toward the millions facing hunger, eviction and unemployment is morally indefensible, constitutionally inconsistent and economically insane. We will keep sending them until we have some indication that they have actually read the moral mandates from our sacred religious texts and the Constitution.”
Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis: “Our government’s abandonment of the people in the midst of the greatest public health crisis in a century and an economic downturn that could rival the Great Depression is sin of the highest order. It is heretical for McConnell to hold up the Constitution and the Bible while trampling on the right of every person to life. We march on McConnell on Monday to demand a true relief bill, one that guarantees healthcare and an adequate income, protects housing, water and utilities, and prioritizes the needs of all people, not the wealthy and corporations.”
In addition to being co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, Rev. Barber is president of Repairers of the Breach, based in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and a bishop in the College of Affirming Bishops and Faith Leaders. Rev. Theoharis is director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Justice in New York City.
Revs. Barber and Theoharis will lead a Livestream program titled “Moral Monday to Stop McConnell’s Misery, Meanness and Mayhem” beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on Monday. They will deliver a message about the need for a COVID-19 stimulus bill that helps poor and low-income people, who numbered 140 million even before the pandemic.
Also on Monday, thousands of activists will flood Sen. McConnell’s phone line, demanding a full and just relief package.
Contact: Martha Waggoner | firstname.lastname@example.org | 919-295-0802
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, is building a broad and deep moral fusion movement rooted in the leadership of poor people to unite our country from the bottom up. We demand that both major political parties address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. Our updated agenda, A Moral Policy Agenda to Heal America: the Poor People’s Jubilee Platform, addresses these issues.