Poor People's Campaign

Program includes speakers from TX, MA, IL, NC, NYC, AZ, WV, MS, PA, MT, Nebraska & Maine 

Contact:  Martha Waggoner | [email protected]

Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Barbara Lee, along with poor and low-income people from Arizona to West Virginia, will speak when the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival holds a national town hall on the need for a Third Reconstruction and the need to take back economic, political, civil and human rights. 

The town hall, which is part of the Moral Action Poverty Congress, will air live online from 7:30 p.m. ET to 9:30 p.m. ET Monday, Oct. 18. Other speakers include the co-chairs of the PPC:NCMR, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, along with: 

  • Frederick D. Haynes III, senior pastor, Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas; executive secretary, Evangelism Board of the National Baptist Convention and co-chair, Samuel Proctor Conference.
  • Heidi Shierholz, president, Economic Policy Institute. 
  • Dr. Mary Bassett, director, François-Xavier BagnoudCenter for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University
  • Fernando Garcia, executive director, Border Network for Human Rights.

Rep. Jayapal of Washington state, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Rep. Lee of California are among the 41 sponsors of a resolution titled “Third Reconstruction: Fully addressing poverty and wages from the bottom up,” which was introduced in May. 

The PPC:NCMR has organized for several years around the needs and demands of the 140 million people who are poor or one emergency away from economic ruin. Among other resolves, the resolution calls on the country to update the poverty measurement; raise the federal minimum wage, enact comprehensive and just immigration reform and expand voting rights.

During the town hall, faithleaders, health experts, immigration and human rights activists will discuss the need for Third Reconstruction and offer thinking about how to achieve it. They will wrestle with how the debate over Build Back Better and voting rights fits into the fight about what’s needed to save democracy. 

State leaders of the PPC:NCMR will join a question-and-answer session: Jade Mazon, Illinois; Emilee Johnson, Mississippi; Joan Steede, Arizona; Rev. Victoria Parker-Mothershed, Nebraska; Marcela Ramirez, Pennsylvania; Jasmine Krotkov, Montana; Marcy Makinen, Maine and Kaylen Parker, West Virginia. 

The town hall follows the release last week of a study by the PPC:NCMR that shows poor and low-income people accounted for more than a third of all voters overall in the 2020 presidential election, and their turnout was especially strong in tight battleground states. 

The study, titled “Waking the Sleeping Giant: Low-Income Voters and the 2020 Elections,” also shows that of the 168 million people who voted in 2020, 59 million — 35% — were poor or low-income, meaning they have an estimated annual income of less than $50,000.

In addition to their roles as co-chairs of the PPC:NCMR, Rev. Barber is president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach in North Carolina and Rev. Theoharis is director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice in New York City.