“South Carolina Poor People’s Campaign to Deliver Campaign Demands to State Lawmakers Including a Call for Medicaid Expansion, Clean Water, and A Living Wage for Teachers and State Employees.”

Columbia, SC — The South Carolina Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will return to the state capitol this week to deliver the Campaign’s Moral Agenda and hold newly elected officials accountable to the needs and demands of the 2.1 million poor and low income people in South Carolina.

While a Presidential national emergency rooted in white nationalism is being declared at the border, the real emergency is here in South Carolina where over 1 million workers make less than a living wage, nearly half a million people are without health insurance, and South Carolinians in 36.1 percent of census tracts are at-risk for being unable to afford water.

The Poor People’s Campaign will be taking similar action and delivering demands in dozens of states this spring as state legislatures across the country go into session.

South Carolina Poor People’s Campaign, which is one of over 35 state campaigns, will hold a news conference and demand delivery on Wednesday, February 27th at the state capitol to set expectations for the legislative agenda in 2019.

Across the nation, organizers are demanding a massive overhaul of voting rights, welfare and work requirements, living wages, health care, access to clean water, housing, ecological devastation and an end to endless war, to lift up the 140 million Americans currently living in poverty.

WHO: Participants in South Carolina Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

WHAT: News Conference and delivery of our demands to legislators at South Carolina Statehouse, demanding immediate action to address crucial issues of poverty, systemic racism, ecological devastation, militarism, and the distorted moral narrative.

WHERE: SC Statehouse Rotunda 1100 Gervais St. Columbia, SC 29208

WHEN: 1:00 PM Wednesday, February 27th

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is co-organized by Repairers of the Breach, a social justice organization founded by Rev. Barber; the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary; and hundreds of local and national grassroots groups across the country.

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival (PPC) is building a broad and deep national moral movement – rooted in the leadership of poor people and reflecting the great moral teachings of faith traditions and the U.S. Constitution – to unite our country from the bottom up. Organizing committees have formed in more than 40 states and Washington, D.C., to challenge extremism at the local, state and federal level and to demand a new, moral agenda for the common good. After an historic wave of non-violent civil disobedience during the summer of 2018, the Campaign seeks to sustain and deepen its organizing work in its current phase of activity.

Led by Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, the PPC is working to challenge the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted moral narrative. The campaign draws on the unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, reigniting the effort led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and diverse grassroots leadership of civil rights organizations, labor and tenant unions, farm workers, Native American elders and grassroots organizers to foster a moral revolution of values. Despite real political wins in 1968 and beyond, the original Poor People’s Campaign was tragically cut short, both by Dr. King’s assassination and by the subversion of the coalition that sustained it.

In April 2018, the PPC released a comprehensive report, The Souls of Poor Folk, conducted with the Institute for Policy Studies and the Urban Institute, auditing America 50 years after the launch of the original Poor People’s Campaign. The report found that, in many ways, the nation is worse off today than in 1968: There are fewer voting rights today than there were 50 years ago when the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act were passed, and 23 states have passed racist voter suppression laws just since 2010; 140 million people live in poverty; each year more than 250,000 people die in the United States from poverty and related issues; and the share of national income going towards the top one percent of earners has nearly doubled.

Responding to the urgent need to challenge America’s political, economic and moral structures, in May and June 2018, the PPC launched the most expansive wave of nonviolent direct action in U.S. history. For six straight weeks beginning May 14, 2018, more than 30,000 poor and disenfranchised people, clergy and faith leaders flooded 35 statehouses from coast-to-coast and the U.S. Capitol, demanding a massive, moral overhaul of the nation’s voting rights laws, new programs to lift up the 140 million Americans living in poverty, immediate attention to ecological devastation and measures to curb militarism and the war economy. Nearly 6,000 people engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience as part of the actions.

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