A group of nurses, AIDS activists, students, transit workers, and community organizers have an answer to the growing economic inequality crisis plaguing the U.S. and are bringing that answer to lawmakers across the country next week.
Their solution: The Robin Hood tax—a small tax on Wall Street’s large-scale speculative trades that could generate hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue. Such a tax could build up America's social safety net and help lift many people out of poverty, the organizers say.
The groups will descend on 22 cities across the U.S. on April 4th in a series of vigils honoring the 46th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
King "was slain in the midst of a campaign for economic justice that, in his last year, included an anti-poverty campaign and worker justice," organizers at National Nurses United write Friday.
Vigils will be followed by meetings with legislators to rally support behind HR 1579, the Inclusive Prosperity Act, which proposes the Robin Hood Tax. The bill was authored by Rep. Keith Ellison, a leader of the Congressional Black Caucus and will be kicked of by a press conference in Washington DC the morning of April 4th.
Such a tax would be "a vital step to fund the programs needed to continue the cause that Dr. King fought to achieve," NNU writes.
“Nearly half a century later, poverty and inequality remains a persistent blight on our nation. As nurses we see the pain of patients who are struggling to survive with un-payable medical bills while trying to find the resources their families also need for their daily life,” said NNU Vice President Sandy Falwell.
Vigils and Congressional visits are planned in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Orlando, San Diego, San Antonio, Las Vegas, West Palm Beach, Fl., Bangor, Me., Herndon, Va., Pawtucket, R.I., Ann Arbor, Mi., Brownsville and El Paso, Tx., Dayton, Oh., and Concord, Modesto, Oxnard, Rancho Cordova, and San Jose, Ca.