What is the Poor People’s Campaign–and why should I be part of it?

“I choose to identify with the underprivileged. I choose to identify with the poor. I choose to give my life for the hungry. I choose to give my life for those who have been left out… This is the way I’m going.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Beginning of the Poor People’s Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign was started in 1968 by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference around the time of the Civil Rights movement. Regardless of the waves that the movement made, Civil Rights leaders saw that there still was no significant improvement on the lives of people of color. In response, a multi-racial effort called the Poor People’s Campaign was created to address the economic injustices that not only affected the impoverished, but society as a while. The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. soon after left the Poor People’s Campaign’s progress at a standstill.

What is the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign?

Society is in need of a moral revival. From the actions of the Trump administration to the economic injustices we face in our lives today, we are all affected and could make a difference if we were all united. Activists from all over the nation have been sparking social actions and sharing to all the institutions we are fighting against: Systemic racism, poverty and inequality, ecological devastation, war economy and militarism and our country’s national morality.

Why should I be part of the Poor People’s Campaign?

Our community members are taking drastic measures to survive and we saw that during our first Santa Cruz PPC Town Hall when we received a testimony about a working woman who has been living in a van with her four children. From a personal standpoint, I am someone with a car, an education, and job, but because of the increase in Santa Cruz rent, I have had to live in my car for a period of time. Poverty comes in all shapes in sizes and can happen to anyone, but often society demonizes the individual, berates them for being lazy or entitled, rather than delving into the systemic issues that could have caused their situation, like job security and availability, costs of living and minimum wage, prejudice and systemic racism, and so much more. We hope to fight poverty, not the poor.

What now?

The Resource Center for Nonviolence has taken the reins of becoming the bridge between Santa Cruz County and the National Poor People’s Campaign. What we want to do is to gain support, create a solid leadership team, and unite our communities to bring awareness to the specific injustices that plague our county. Every month we will be holding a PPC Town Hall in every part of the county, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Bonny Doon, Aptos, Scotts Valley/San Lorenzo Valley, Capitola/Soquel, in that order to represent the demographics of that part of the county. These town halls will be used to keep supporters updated on what the Campaign has been doing or what social actions are being planned and give people access to the much needed organizations and resources. These town halls also seek to strengthen our community and provide a space for people to share comments, questions, and experiences about being poor in Santa Cruz County.

Join the Movement!

Register your organization for a seat at the Pathfinder Table by completing the registration process here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdslySAaGuIk-ifapbd9hrn8E_lWmoE8n6_HBWpaCs9-fDfbw/viewform

Register your personal or organizational email on the Santa Cruz County Poor People’s Campaign mailing list by following this link: https://goo.gl/forms/gNv1km000jfInu8w1

Follow and Like the Santa Cruz County Poor People’s Campaign on Facebook

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