‘Our votes are demands, not support’
Poor People’s Campaign to March on Main Streets Across Nation to Propel Low-Income Voters to the Polls
Actions part of push to reach 5 million people ahead of Election Day
Visuals will include people marching, holding signs about what’s really on the ballot: living wages, voting rights, environmental justice, health care, women’s rights
NATIONWIDE — Poor and low-income people and their advocates will march on main streets of the capital and other major cities across the country Oct. 15 to encourage low-propensity voters who are suffering the most from attacks on our democracy to register and vote in the midterm elections.
The marches and rallies in two-dozen cities– held at noon in each time zone – are part of a massive GOTV campaign by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival to reach out to 5 million people ahead of the midterms with the theme of “If We Ever Needed to Vote for Democracy and Justice, We Sure Do Need to Vote Now!”
Rallies will take place in cities across the country including Mobile, AL; Tucson, AZ; Sacramento, CA; Washington, D.C.; Springfield, IL; Topeka, KS; Lexington, KY; Boston, MA; Jackson, MS; Lincoln, NE; Montclair, NJ; Raleigh, NC; Pittsburgh, PA; Providence, RI; and Columbia, SC.
A roundup of the marches will be live streamed at 6 pm EST in a National Day of Action Virtual Rally.
“If you don’t have living wages, if you don’t have health care for all, if you don’t protect the environment, if you don’t have voting rights, you have an impoverished democracy,” said the Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the PPC:NCMR and senior lecturer at Repairers of the Breach. “In these midterms, poor and low-wealth people are going to demand with their votes that their issues are addressed by elected officials. They are going to vote like our democracy depends on it and will have a major influence on the election.”
Speakers will emphasize that their votes are not support but instead, they are demands that the issues of poor and low-income people and low-wage workers are at the center of our national narrative.
“The priorities of poor and low-income people are on the ballot this election – from health care to living wages to social programs that lift the load of poverty and much more,” said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the PPC:NCMR and director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice. “We march on October 15 to call attention to our demands and grow our power.”
Some 140 million poor and low-income people live in the United States, including 43% of all adults; 52% of children; and 73% of women – and that was before COVID.
“The nation needs policies and politicians that center the needs of poor and low-wealth people,” said the Rev. Kazimir Brown, national director of religious affairs for Repairers of the Breach. “Too many people are hurting and dying because of immoral policies. We are marching to make our demands heard in the streets and at the ballot box.”
Fifty-eight million low-income people voted in the 2020 presidential election, accounting for 33% of the electorate and 45% in battleground states, according to the PPC:NCMR study, “Waking the Sleeping Giant: Low-Income Voters and the 2020 Elections” that the campaign released last year.
But over 80 million were eligible to cast a ballot, meaning over 20 million low-income people left their votes on the table. And when you consider that a mere 400 votes separated the winner and loser in one North Carolina race, that means these non-active voters do have the power to make politicians listen to them.
“Poverty is a policy choice,” said Kait Ziegler, national co-director of organizing for Repairers of the Breach. “And inhumane policies are being created and upheld by elected leaders who have lost their moral conscience. On this national day of action we are marching across dozens of main streets to collectively declare that our votes are not support but instead are demands.”
Repairers of the Breach and the Kairos Center are the co-anchor organizations of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
To RSVP for events in your state, please click here. There does not seem to be an event happening in New York, but there are events happening in New Jersey and elsewhere nationwide. Further information will be provided once it becomes available.
Banner Image: Event flyer. Image Credit – Poor People’s Campaign