Poor People's Campaign

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Poor and low-income workers trying to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic will tell their stories when leaders of The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival discuss the dangerous and immoral reopening of states. 

As part of its “Stay in Place! Stay Alive! Organize!” drive, the campaign is calling for resistance to the reopening of states before they meet even the most basic of standards to protect people, especially those most at risk: those who live in poverty or low-income and communities of color.

Among those speaking at a digital news conference at 11 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday, May 13, will be: a woman from Kansas who finally was allowed off work after her doctor confirmed she has COVID-19; a woman from Texas who has returned to work even though she and her children have pre-existing conditions; and a woman from Maine who has worked the drive-through window at a fast-food restaurant throughout the pandemic without any PPE. 

“We cannot believe the lies coming from the Trump administration and from many governors, who also have lied to the public regarding voter suppression laws, denial of health care and refusal to support living wages. They don’t have credibility for us to believe them now,” the campaign’s co-chairs, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis said in a statement Monday. 

Barber and Theoharis also will announce plans for a day of action on May 21 to oppose the reopenings.

In addition to Barber and Theoharis, participants will include Dr. Mary Bassett, director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center of Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, a former New York City health commissioner and member of the campaign’s Public Health Justice Advisory Committee.

 “The cost of prematurely re-opening of various businesses will be measured in lives lost,” the committee said in a report explaining why the U.S. is not ready to reopen.

“There is a way forward, but this is not the way. The way forward is to take action based on proven public health strategies and the best available data, to ensure that all communities are protected, cared for, and provided with the economic means to survive and that equity and justice are central to all of our efforts.”

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

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, is building a generationally transformative digital gathering called the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington, on June 20, 2020. At that assembly, we will 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 by implementing our Moral Agenda.