It’s a national effort for moral revival happening in 30 states across the country, including right here in Madison.
Today, the Poor People’s Campaign met at the state capitol; marking the first nationwide action of the campaign since it launched on December 4th, 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. started it. Minister Wendell Harris Sr. led the peaceful assembly, calling for more voter rights to alleviate poverty throughout Wisconsin.
Mama Rose is one of those people fighting. Currently a Milwaukee resident, she moved to Wisconsin 60 years ago in hope of a better life. She’s been commuting to Madison for the past 55 years to help stick up for social issues.
“Everyone, every human being, has a right to something and if you’re not getting it you’ve got to fight for it. You can’t sit down and it’s not going to come to you. It doesn’t matter what color of your skin, your eyes, your hair, you are human. You know, and even dogs and cats, they fight for what they need and they want, and I feel humans should do it even more,” Mama Rose says.
The Poor People’s Campaign addresses poverty, systematic racism, ecological devastation and other inequalities issues happening throughout the country. One of those major issues is the livable wage.
Solo Littlejohn, a long-time fast food worker and a leader in the Fight for Fifteen, addresses the need for higher wages in the state. He’s one of the millions of workers paid $8.50 an hour or less, who can’t even afford Medicaid’s low-income health insurance program.
“We fast food workers were joining in because we’re included in the millions of poor and disenfranchised. Here in Wisconsin and all over the country we are living in poverty because we are not paid fair and decent living wages. That’s why we’re fighting for $15 an hour and the right to unionize,” Solo Littlejohn says.
The Poor People’ Campaign will continue its efforts to convince state politicians to fight for a moral economy.
Minister Greg Lewis says that unity is important in making this mission a success.
“People have to really decide if we’re going to really stand together and band together. It’s always important that the different ethnicities and races realize that we’re all in the same boat when it comes to this poverty.”
The Poor People’s Campaign united a diverse crowd of over 20 people, and organizers expect it will be a multi-year effort.
Trina La Susa reported on the story.