Fifty years after the original Poor People’s Campaign, we have joined with allies to launch a new Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival (PPC). In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other Civil Rights leaders led the Poor People’s Campaign to demand a real war on poverty, full employment, guaranteed wages, and affordable housing. Today poverty, joblessness, the shortage of affordable housing, and the denial of healthcare are as urgent as ever.
Put People First! Pennsylvania (PPF-PA) has taken a leading role in Pennsylvania’s Poor People’s Campaign, turning out members to all six days of action at the State House during the PPC’s 40 days of action in May and June, and culminating in a march on Washington on Saturday, June 23.
At a June 4 rally in Harrisburg, PPF-PA member Tammy Rojas spoke about her inability to afford dental care—and her consequent development of advanced periodontal disease—because access to dental care is not always covered through Medicaid or private insurance.
“Things must change now,” said Tammy. “We need universal healthcare now. There is no reason why in the richest country we should suffer—or worse, die—simply because we lack the funds for the care we need.”
In Vermont, the Vermont Workers’ Center led a 200-person Medicaid March in St. Johnsbury in Vermont’s rural Northeast Kingdom region. The march is part of the Workers’ Center’s growing presence in the Northeast Kingdom and its statewide push to protect and expand Medicaid.