Poor People's Campaign to register voters on 20-state tour

FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2019, file photo, Rev. William Barber, leader of the Moral Mondays movement, speaks during a town hall meeting for Lowndes County residents with failing wastewater sanitation systems in Hayneville, Ala. The Poor People's Campaign will begin touring more than 20 states later this month to bring together residents of disenfranchised communities and help them register to vote. The Rev. Barber, co-chair of the campaign, said Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, at a news conference in Washington, D.C., that the tour begins Sept. 16 in El Paso, Texas, and will culminate on June 20 with an assembly in Washington.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Poor People's Campaign will begin touring more than 20 states later this month to bring together residents of disenfranchised communities and help them register to vote.

The Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the campaign, said Monday at a news conference in Washington, D.C., that the tour begins Sept. 16 in El Paso, Texas, and will culminate on June 20 with an assembly on the National Mall in Washington. Three stops are planned in at least 22 states, with Day 1 focusing on the communities and their stories; Day 2 on voter registration and Day 3 on a march and rally.

MORE — an acronym for Mobilizing, Organizing, Registering, Educating — will build on a multistate anti-poverty tour that began in February and ended with the People's Moral Action Congress in Washington.

"We have identified areas all over the country where, if just 2% of poor and low-wealth people and their allies are organized, it changes the political calculus and can make a huge electoral difference," Barber said in a statement. He said such votes could make a difference in the 2020 reelection bids of U.S. Sens. Thom Tillis in North Carolina and Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

The original Poor People's Campaign was established by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in December 1967, four months before he was assassinated. Barber revived that campaign in 2017, four years after he had started the "Moral Monday" movement, which organized protests about issues including gerrymandering, voting rights, LGBTQ rights and unions.

The new, nine-month-long MORE campaign will carry over into next year, when voters will decide whether they're satisfied with the direction taken by President Donald Trump. MORE's organizers made a conscious decision to make Washington, D.C., the campaign's last stop, Barber said.

"We are coming back to demonstrate our collective power and to demand that the agenda of this campaign inform the platforms of both parties' conventions ahead of the 2020 election," Barber said.

———

Follow Martha Waggoner on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mjwaggonernc

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.