Mass Assemblies to be Held Saturday in Delaware and Across the Nation to Address Poverty Issue

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On Saturday, March 2nd at noon, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will march and rally in state capitals across the country, bringing the demands of poor and low-wealth people for living wages, healthcare, housing, education, environmental justice, and voting rights directly to our lawmakers. Many churches and organizations in Delaware will gather for a mass assembly at the Dover statehouse to launch a 40-week effort to mobilize poor and low-wage voters in Delaware, and demand legislators take immediate action to end the crisis of death by poverty in the United States. In a statement released by the Delaware Poor People’s Campaign, it’s mentioned that legislators have the power to address poverty being the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

Additional Information from the Delaware Poor People’s Campaign:

Movement leaders, poor people unite behind promise to mobilize and ‘Wake the Sleeping Giant’ of 15 million poor and low-wage voters across nation

Mass assemblies across 30+ states launch 40 weeks of action in the lead up to the election, poor voters pledge to oust candidates who fail to put an end to policy murder

Launch held at statehouses, where legislators have the power to address poverty being the fourth leading cause of death in the United States

Dover, Delaware –On Saturday, March 2 at noon, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will march and rally in state capitals across the country, bringing the demands of poor and low-wealth people for living wages, healthcare, housing, education, environmental justice, and voting rights directly to our lawmakers. From Texas to Maine and California to the Carolinas, thousands of poor and impacted people, clergy and advocates will call for an end to poverty in the richest nation on earth.

Poor and low-wage people will join Delaware Poor People’s Campaign Tri-Chairs Register Nurse Cecelia Hobbs, Rev. Dr. Lyle J. Dykstra and Julius B Jackson, J.D. Retired Human Service Administrator & Advocate; impacted speakers Robert Karvois, Rev. Dr.  Whittaker, Araceli Garcia, and Anthony Jones; faith leaders Rev. Joseph Archie- District Superintendent of UMC, Rev. Dr. Ron Whittaker- Pastor Mother African Union Church, Father Patrick Burke- Episcopal Church of ST. Andrews and Mathews; advocate Helen Salita, ACLU-DE, keynote speaker Dr. DeBorah Gilbert White; allies organizations The H.O.M.E.S. Campaign, Peace and Justice, Delaware Racial Justice Collaborative, Latin American Community Center, Sneham, Multiple faith-based churches throughout Delaware, YWCA, League of Women’s Voters, Habitat for Humanity, Del State University, IMAC, Friendship House, Hope Center, ACLU of Delaware, Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice, Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, Westminster Presbyterian Church Peace and Justice Committee, the New Castle Presbytery (31 Churches in Delaware), The Episcopal Diocese of Delaware, many United Methodist Churches in Delaware, and many Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America in Delaware for a mass assembly at the Dover statehouse to launch a 40-week effort to mobilize poor and low-wage voters in Delaware, and demand legislators take immediate action to end the crisis of death by poverty in the United States.

Poverty is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. In a country with so much wealth, poor and low-wealth voters are refusing to accept the myth of scarcity and instead are declaring that their votes are demands for living wages, voting rights and other policies to save lives, and save this democracy. At the mass assembly, poor and low-wage voters will share powerful testimony and put politicians on notice: if you want our votes in November, you must address the crisis of death by poverty. 

Across the nation, poor people make up 30% of the electorate, here in Delaware, there are 246,004 poor and low-income eligible voters. This is the power of the sleeping giant! Organizing and mobilizing poor and low-income voters means that we can build the Delaware we believe in! It’s time for us to take back the mic from those who want to talk about everything else but the death-sentence of poverty in these yet to be United States. That’s why we are mobilizing around the issues that impact our communities most. If you believe in freedom, if you believe in living wages, healthcare, voting rights and stopping voter suppression, equal rights for all, worker and labor rights, environmental justice, access to housing, fully-funded public education, abolishing poverty, and the unity of love not the division of hate, join us on March 2nd, 2024 at 12 noon Wesley United Methodist Church.

It’s time to take back the mic. It’s time to lift our voices. It’s time to register our votes and make them demands. Can we count on you?

EVENT DETAILS

WHO: Poor and low-wage voters 

Delaware Poor People’s Campaign Tri-Chair Cecelia Hobbs

Delaware Poor People’s Campaign Tri-Chair Lyle Dykstra

Delaware Poor People’s Campaign Tri-Chair Julius Jackson

Keynote speaker Dr. DeBorah Gilbert White

WHAT: Mass assembly led by poor and low-wage voters to launch mass voter mobilization and demand Delaware lawmakers legislate to end crisis of death by poverty. 

WHEN: Saturday, March 2, 2024, 12pm – 2pm ET 

WHERE: Wesley United Methodist Church, 209 South State Street, Dover DE 19901  

Due to a forecast of 90% change of rain, please bring a chair if you need to be seated. If you need transportation from Wilmington, call 302-362-9885. Please encourage all your friends and neighbors to attend the Mass Assembly with you.

In the United States, the richest nation in the world, poverty is the fourth leading cause of death in this nation, more than gun violence, obesity, homicide, and diabetes. The voices of our loved ones who have died are crying from the grave. The people of Delaware are suffering: 374,00 are poor; 55,700 lack healthcare coverage; 143,479 of people working for less than a living wage. Delaware minimum wage increased to 13.25 in Jan 2024 up from 11.75. However, a living wage in Delaware is 20.00/hour. The average household debt rose 6%in 2022 to an average of 61,490.

We cannot slide quietly into the dark! That’s why Delaware is joining states across the nation who will be holding simultaneous assemblies and marches at their state capitals. We are going to raise our voices and make our votes our demands. We are going to Dover to deliver a moral demand that the priorities and policies of the Delaware Legislature address the many issues that keep people poor. Our state capitals are not just symbolic; they are the policy hubs whose decisions directly impact people facing systemic poverty and the interlocking injustices. Join with us, poor people, clergy and faith leaders, and advocates in building an action that will send a message to the legislators responsible for the policy violence against the 374,000 poor and low-income people in our state and that we won’t be silent anymore.

In addition to Delaware, mass assemblies and subsequent voter mobilization efforts will take place in Alabama, Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia. 

On February 5, national Poor People’s Campaign leaders launched a major effort to mobilize 15 million poor and low-wage voters in more than 30 states ahead of November’s election. Now, in a coordinated day of action, local leaders across participating states will host simultaneous mass assemblies to amplify the voices of poor and low-wage voters, and detail their upcoming local voter mobilization efforts, spanning states across the country including Delaware. 

There are approximately 85 million poor and low-wage eligible voters in this country who represent at least 30% of the electorate. In so-called battleground states it’s close to and over 40%. 800 people die each day as a result of being poor and low-wealth. These deaths are completely preventable and unnecessary. High percentages of poor and low-wage voters don’t vote because politicians fail to enact policies or address the issues that affect their lives.

Saturday’s simultaneous assemblies will amplify the collective power of poor and low-wage people and voters, as well as educate politicians and the public about a moral public policy agenda that can save lives by eliminating poverty and low-wealth in the United States.  Two days later on March 4, advocates will reconvene at legislative offices in Dover to deliver a comprehensive package to legislators on both sides of the political aisle documenting the conditions poor people are facing in their state and the bold actions that can be taken to address these crises. 


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