The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Martha Waggoner, 

Poor People's Campaign Steps Toward Mass Poor People's and Low-Wage Workers' Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls With 5-State Southern Virtual Mobilization Stop

AL, FL, GA, MS & TN hold 1st gathering of march toward DC; next virtual stop includes TX, OK, LA & AR; in-person planned for WI, OH, NC, NY, PA, CA & TN


The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival launches its march toward Washington with a Mobilization Tour that starts Monday with a virtual gathering covering five Southern states.

The first stop of The Mass Poor People's & Low-Wage Workers' Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls Mobilization Tour begins online at 7 p.m CT/8 p.m. ET on Monday, Feb. 14. Speakers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi who are directly impacted by the policy violence of the U.S. Congress will headline the program.

Faith leaders and artists also will join the program, which will be live streamed here.

All these states suffer from high poverty, voter suppression, denial of healthcare and the lack of living minimum wage:



PLI- Raw numbers

PLI - %







59% or 762,000

64% or 141,000

37% or 1.1 million




58% or 26 million

70% or 38 million

35% or 66 million




66% or 2 million

63% or 3.3 million

39% or 4.3 million




58% or 631,000

66% or 263,000

37% or 1.8 million




65% or 708,000

66% or 54,000

39% or 649,000

But poor and low-income people in these states also voted in high percentages in the 2020 presidential election: Alabama, 44%; Florida, 45%; Georgia, 37% and Tennessee, 39%. Figures were not available for Mississippi at the time of the study in May 2021.

These numbers show that a fusion coalition of Black, white, Latino, Asian and Native poor people and their allies can shift the outcome of elections and public policy. We will use the tour to declare that we must change the moral narrative and that we must resist the lie of scarcity.

The Mobilization Tour will make at least 10 stops nationwide to Mobilize, Organize, Register and Educate people for a movement that votes.

Speakers will demand that this nation do MORE to live up to its possibilities:

  • MORE to fully address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation and the denial of health care, militarism and the war economy and the false moral narrative of religious nationalism.

  • MORE to change the narrative and build the power of those most impacted by these injustices.

  • MORE to realize a Third Reconstruction agenda that can build this country from the bottom up and realize the nation we have yet to be.

The reality of 140 million people who are poor or low-wealth and just one $400 emergency away from being poor - and who represent every race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, ability and political party and account for 43.5% of the people living in the richest nation in the world - is a moral crisis.

Because of COVID, this stop and the next one, scheduled Feb. 28 for Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas are virtual. Other in-person stops on the tour are: Madison, Wisconsin, and Cleveland in March; Raleigh, North Carolina, New York City and Philadelphia in April and Los Angeles, Memphis and the Delta of Mississippi in May.

The June 18th assembly in DC will be a generationally transformative declaration of the power of poor and low-wealth people and our moral allies to say that this system is killing ALL of us and we can't...we won't...we refuse to be silent anymore!

"It is NOT just a day of action. It is a declaration of an ongoing, committed moral movement to 1) shift the moral narrative; 2) build power; and 3) make real policies to fully address poverty and low wealth from the bottom up."

--Bishop William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis. co-chairs of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, is building a generationally transformative digital gathering called the Mass Poor People's Assembly and Moral March on Washington, on June 20, 2020. At that assembly, we will demand that both major political parties address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism by implementing our Moral Agenda.