Politics & Elections

The RI Poor People’s Campaign ‘nails’ their moral agenda to the State House doors

“We demand that the COVID-19 relief package include expanded unemployment benefits, health care for all and vaccine equity,” writes the Poor People’s Campaign. “We must move towards a guaranteed income for all and a federal jobs program that guarantees everyone employment with dignity and respect.”
Photo for The RI Poor People’s Campaign ‘nails’ their moral agenda to the State House doors

Published on March 16, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist

The Rhode Island Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival delivered a moral agenda to the Rhode Island State House on Monday at noon, braving the cold and fierce winds. This local action was part of a national effort taking a place at State Houses across the United States. The moral agenda, symbolically nailed to the State House door, called for an end to voter suppression and other regressive policies.

The 14 policy priorities include:

  1. Enact comprehensive and just COVID-19 relief that provides free testing, treatment, vaccines and direct payments to the poor
  2. Guarantee quality health care for all, regardless of any pre-existing conditions
  3. Raise the minimum wage to $15/ hour immediately 
  4. Update the poverty measure
  5. Guarantee quality housing for all
  6. Enact a federal jobs program to build up investments, infrastructure, public institutions, climate resilience, energy efficiency and socially beneficial industries and jobs in poor and low-income communities
  7. Protect and expand voting rights and civil rights
  8. Guarantee safe, quality and equitable public education, with supports for protection against re-segregation
  9. Comprehensive and just immigration reform
  10. Ensure all of the rights of indigenous peoples
  11. Enact fair taxes and targeted tax credits
  12. Use the power of executive orders
  13. Redirect the bloated Pentagon Budget towards these priorities as matters of national security
  14. Work with the PPC to establish a permanent Presidential Council to advocate for this bold agenda

The emphasis on voter rights is in response to a Brennan Center for Justice report showing that as of February 19, state lawmakers across 43 states had carried over, prefiled or introduced more than 250 bills with provisions that restrict voting. This attack on voting rights comes, says the Poor People’s Campaign, “as poor and low-income voters flexed their political muscle in the 2021 election, helping to elect leaders who promised to pass laws that lift from the bottom, including voter protection laws.”

“We also demand that the COVID-19 relief package include expanded unemployment benefits, health care for all and vaccine equity,” writes the Poor People’s Campaign. “We must move towards a guaranteed income for all and a federal jobs program that guarantees everyone employment with dignity and respect.”

Pastor Carl Jefferson and Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman

Here’s the video. The fierce wind at times defeated the windsock on my mic:

At the State House, the event began with a song:

Professor Peter Nightingale acted as emcee and delivered opening remarks:

Pastor Carl Jefferson:

Mariana Silva-Buck:

David Veliz:

Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman:

The symbolic nailing of the 14 Policy Priorities to the doors of the Rhode Island State House:

More information from the Poor People’s Campaign:

More than 140 million poor and low-income people live in the United States, or 43% of the country’s population—and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic; 250,000 die each year from poverty. Among those 140 million people are: 52% or 39 million children (below 18); 42% or 21 million elders (above 65); 43% or 66 million men; 45% or 74 million women; 60% or 26 million Black people; 64% or 38 million Latinx people; 41% or 8 million Asian people; 59% or 2 million Native/Indigenous people; 34% or 66 million white people.
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, with organizing committees in 45 states, is building a moral fusion movement to address the five interlocking injustices of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and a distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. Our demands are reflected in our Jubilee Platform.
For additional information: poorpeoplescampaign.org https://youtu.be/PmOjcUoDhEs
Twitter: @unitethepoor @RhodeIslandPPC
Instagram: @poorpeoplescampaign @poorpeoplescampaignri
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ANewPPC
https://www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandPPC

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