Civil rights leaders have kicked off a sweeping campaign spanning 30 states aimed at mobilizing over 15 million poor and low-income voters in preparation for the 2024 election. Led by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, the initiative seeks to galvanize a significant voting bloc often overlooked in American politics.
During a press conference held at The National Press Club on Monday, Dr. Barber emphasized the urgency of the campaign, invoking the need for a “third reconstruction” to address systemic issues affecting marginalized communities. He stressed the importance of utilizing power to effect change and declared, “There is no turning back.”
The campaign, which will culminate in a nationally coordinated day of direct action on March 2 across 30 state capitals and a rally and march in Washington, D.C., on June 15, aims to train thousands of volunteers to engage infrequent voters, particularly in battleground and Southern states.
Highlighting policy priorities such as healthcare for all, affordable housing, a $15 minimum wage, and fully-funded public education, the Poor People’s Campaign aims to amplify the voices of those disproportionately affected by poverty and inequality.
Dr. Theoharis echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the need for systemic change to address issues such as low wages, inadequate healthcare, and attacks on education. She stressed the importance of listening to the demands of the poor to create a more equitable society.
During the press conference, individuals facing financial hardships shared their stories, underscoring the human impact of economic inequality. Dr. Barber reiterated the grim reality that “poverty is the fourth leading cause of death” in the United States, emphasizing the urgency of addressing this crisis.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Dr. Barber addressed concerns about the intersection of religion and politics, asserting that the “politics of Jesus” mandate a focus on serving the marginalized. He emphasized the importance of voting based on principles and policies that uplift the poor, rather than partisan allegiances.
Looking ahead to the upcoming election, Dr. Barber emphasized the importance of voters considering candidates’ stances on crucial issues affecting their lives, such as voting rights, living wages, healthcare, and education funding.
“They’re going to vote for the person that cares most about their lives,” Barber said. “They’re going to say: ‘Where do you stand on voting rights? Where do you stand on living wage? Where do you stand on health care? Where do you stand on funding public education?'”
Credit: The Christian Post