The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and a delegation of multi-racial national faith leaders joined Texas state legislators to deliver a call to moral action and federal protection of voting rights and living wages on Thursday. They delivered a letter to Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Senate Minority Leader McConnell, President Biden and Vice President Harris.
The march was led by Bishop William J. Barber, II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, and Dr. Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary, along with the National Council of Churches in Christ, which represents 39 denominations, 100,000 congregations from Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace traditions. Texas democratic legislators who walked out to block a bill that would make it more difficult to vote also joined.
The group gathered outside the US Supreme Court for a press conference before walking over to the US Capitol together to deliver the urgent demands to the offices of Schumer and McConnell.
Letter calls for immediate action
The demands of the letter include:
- End the filibuster.
- Fully restore and expand protections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
- Passage of all provisions of the bill John Lewis wrote: the For the People Act.
- An immediate increase in the federal minimum wage to $15/hour.
“It is time to view these things through the lens of our deepest constitutional and moral values in order to preserve the soul, the economic justice and the future possibilities of this nation,” Rev. Barber said. “This moment is about right vs. wrong. It’s not about one big lie from one man. But it’s about an old lie, an old fear, that has metastasized into a cancer of lies.”
Theoharis said the deepest moral traditions include a resolve to protect the vulnerable and ensure their voices are heard.
“If we do not save this democracy, if we do not protect and expand our right to vote, if we do not raise wages and if we do not build up this infrastructure of schools and health care and everything that everybody needs to thrive not just barely survive, that we are in danger. We are in danger of reducing this nation to chaos when it could be a beacon of liberty and life and the pursuit of justice for everyone.”
“Sick and tired of being sick and tired. That’s what the 57 of us were — sick and tired of being sick and tired,” said Texas Rep. Jasmine Crockett.
“We rolled out. We came to the nation’s capital. We came because we decided to be productive. We decided to put pressure in the only place that pressure matters, which is right here in DC.”