Contact: Martha Waggoner | [email protected]
The Poor People’s Campaign is launching a massive call-in to the offices of the three main senators blocking progress in this nation to end the filibuster, pass Build Back Better and protect voting rights as steps in the right direction.
The call-in to the offices of Sens. Mitch McConnell, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema begins at 9 a.m. ET Friday. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has invited thousands of people to join the nonviolent action to express the needs of the 140 million poor and low-income people in this country.
At least 200 clergy members, including pastors, rabbis and imams, and poor and low-wealth people will call the offices each day until Congress acts on these policies necessary to prevent this democracy from sinking further into becoming an oligarchy.
“Because of COVID, we can’t do a nonviolent mass sit-in,” the PPC:NCMR co-chairs, Bishop William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis said in a joint statement. “We will adjust to the virus, but for the sake of democracy, we cannot stand down or quit.”
WHY WE FIGHT:
_ The non-constitutional filibuster is used only to block progress, such as voting rights protections and never to move the nation forward. While civil rights legislation is the most familiar target, the Senate also has used the filibuster to block: voting rights for women, labor rights and even an independent consumer protection agency.
_ The 1965 Voting Rights Act essentially was invalidated as a pre-clearance safeguard in 2013. The 2016 election was the first without the full protections of the act since 1966. In 2022, the country has a slew of state voting rights changes that weren’t subject to review, passed last year by extremists. The Brennan Center for Justice reports that between Jan. 1 and Dec. 7, at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting. Legislators are passing these voter suppression laws after a record voter turnout in the 2020 elections, including among poor and low-income voters, as this report by the PPC:NCMR shows.
_ The $1.75 trillion Build Back Better act would be paid over 10 years and helps: 35 million households by maintaining the child income tax credit extension; 17 million low-wage workers without children by maintaining the earned income tax credit extension; 4 million uninsured people by providing health coverage until 2025; and home health care workers – 28% of whom are Black, 23% of whom are Latino and most of whom are women – by raising their wages.
Bishop Barber also is president of Repairers of the Breach, and Rev. Dr. Theoharis is director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice. The organizations are co-sponsors of the PPC:NCMR.