Poor People's Campaign

News conference at House Triangle will follow at 11 a.m. Wednesday

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

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will hold a COVID-limited meeting Wednesday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi around its legislative priorities for voting rights, living wages and ending the filibuster in a time of moral and constitutional crises.

The meeting will include the co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, along with poor and low-impacted members of the state Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival from Texas and West Virginia. Also supporting the meeting will be a diverse representation of religious leaders and denominations and the leader of the National Council of Churches, which represents 38 member communions and over 35 million individuals –100,000 congregations from Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African-American, and Living Peace traditions; the country’s two top voting rights lawyers and representatives of the League of Women Voters and Black Voters Matter.

The diverse delegation is representative of tens of millions of people, including the campaign’s coordinating committees across 45 states. The group is taking precautions due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

A news conference will be held at 11 a.m. ET at the House Triangle with Speaker Pelosi, Revs. Barber and Theoharis and other members of the delegation.

The group wants to make the moral case for Speaker Pelosi and the House to understand the magnitude of the moment America is facing.

“Our leaders must consider not only the infrastructure of roads, bridges, and technology, but also the infrastructure of our democracy, such as voting rights, and our daily lives, such as a living wage,” Rev. Barber said. “The filibuster cannot be used as a tool of interposition and nullification. In this moment, the House is the hope of American democracy and must stand strong not for Democrats or Republicans but for the fundamental promises of the Constitution and equal protection under the law.”

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival led a seven-week season of nonviolent moral direct action, including a four-day march from Georgetown to Austin in Texas that brought 10,000 people together on the last day and actions in Washington, D.C., that brought together people from 49 states calling for:

  • An end to the filibuster
  • Restoration of the full 1965 Voting Rights Act
  • Passage of all provisions of the bill that John Lewis wrote: The For the People Act
  • Raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour

“Our political leaders have the opportunity to side with right, not wrong, to protect our democracy and build the nation up from the bottom based on our moral and constitutional values,”  Rev. Theoharis said. “But that only happens if, in the negotiations that are ongoing around the federal budget and infrastructure bills, our lawmakers center the priorities of the nation’s 140 million poor and low-income people, defend and expand voting rights and raise wages.” 

Pam Garrison, a tri-chair of the West Virginia Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, said she will attend the meeting with Speaker Pelosi to discuss the moral imperative surrounding these issues.

“We are tired of being ignored and our lives left to those who claim to be for us, but who act against us,” Garrison said.

On Thursday, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will return to West Virginia for a Mass Moral Motorcade on Manchin. The motorcade from Madison to Charleston will intensify pressure on Sen. Joe Manchin to end his support for the filibuster, support expanded voting rights and a $15/hour minimum wage.

The motorcade is a continuation of West Virginia actions by the Poor People’s  Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Others include actions in February and June in West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The news conference and the motorcade will be live streamed here.