Poor People's Campaign Demands

Systemic Racism

  • We demand that First Nations, Native Americans and Alaskan Native people retain their tribal recognition as nations, not races, to make substantive claims to their sovereignty.
  • We demand the immediate full restoration and expansion of the Voting Rights Act, an end to racist gerrymandering and redistricting, early registration of 17 and 18 year olds, the implementation of automatic registration to vote at the age of 18, early voting in every state, same-day registration, the enactment of Election Day as a holiday, and a verifiable paper record.
  • We demand the right to vote for the formerly incarcerated.
  • We demand the reversal of state laws preempting local governments from passing minimum wage increases, and the removal of Emergency Financial Management positions that are unaccountable to the democratic process.
  • We demand an end to placing persons on the federal bench who have a record of standing against voting rights.
  • We demand a clear and just immigration system that strengthens our democracy through the broad participation of everyone in this country. This includes providing a timely citizenship process that guarantees the right to vote. It also requires protecting immigrants’ abilities to organize for their rights in the workplace and in their communities without fear of retribution, detention and deportation.

Poverty and Inequality

  • We demand the immediate implementation of federal and state living wage laws that are commensurate for the 21st century economy, guaranteed annual incomes, full employment and the right for all workers to form and join unions.
  • We demand an end to anti-union and anti-workers’ rights laws in the states.
  • We demand equal pay for equal work.
  • We demand fully-funded welfare programs for the poor and an end to the attacks on SNAP, HEAP, and other vital programs for the poor.
  • We demand equity in education, ensuring every child receives a high-quality,
    well-funded, diverse public education.
  • We demand an end to the re-segregation of schools.
  • We demand free tuition at public colleges and universities and an end to
    profiteering on student debt.
  • We demand equitable funding for historically black colleges and universities.
  • We demand the expansion of Medicaid in every state and the protection of Medicare and single-payer universal health care for all.
  • We demand fully funded public resources and access to mental health professionals and addiction and recovery programs.
  • We demand reinvestment in and the expansion of public housing, ensuring that all have a decent house to live in.
  • We demand equal treatment and accessible housing, health care, public transportation, adequate income and services for people with disabilities.
  • We demand public infrastructure projects and sustainable, community-based and controlled economic initiatives that target poor urban and rural communities.
  • We demand fair and decent housing for all and the end to the rolling back of fair housing protections at HUD.
  • We demand relief from crushing household, student, and consumer debt. We declare Jubilee.
  • We demand that the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share of our country’s urgent needs around decent and affordable housing, free public education, a robust social safety net and social security.
  • We demand the repeal of the 2017 federal tax law and the reinvestment of those funds into public programs for housing, health care, education, jobs, infrastructure and welfare for the poor.
  • We demand that the nation and our lawmakers turn their immediate attention to passing policies and budget allocations that would end child poverty. This includes a public hearing on the federal and state institutions charged with child safety and protection, including on how their resources are used to take children away rather than strengthening families.
  • We demand a change in the current poverty standards. We demand an accurate assessment of who is poor — based on access to decent and adequate housing, education, health care, water, sanitation and public utilities, childcare, as well as income, savings and debt, and welfare — and that is made widely available to all.
  • We demand particular attention be paid to data concerning First Nations, Native Americans, Alaskan Native, LGBTQIA and disabled people regarding poverty. This means working with these communities to ensure the safekeeping of sensitive information and that all data is collected with respect, dignity and security.
  • We demand an end to mass incarceration and the continuing inequalities for black, brown and poor white people within the criminal justice system.
  • We demand equality and the safety of all persons regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Ecological Devastation

  • We demand 100 percent clean, renewable energy and a public jobs program to transition to a green economy that will put millions of people in sustainable living wage jobs.
  • We demand a fully funded public water and sanitation infrastructure that keeps these utilities and services under public control and that prioritize poor, rural and Native communities that have been harmed by polluting and extractive industries.
  • We demand a ban on fracking, mountaintop removal coal mining, coal ash ponds, and offshore drilling. We demand a ban on all new pipelines, refineries, and coal, oil, and gas export terminals.
  • We demand the protection of public lands and the immediate cessation of opening up public lands for polluting and extractive industries.

War Economy and Militarism

  • We demand an end to military aggression and war-mongering.
  • We demand a stop to the privatization of the military budget and any increase in military spending.
  • We demand a reallocation of resources from the military budget to education, health care, jobs and green infrastructure needs, and strengthening a Veterans Administration system that must remain public.
  • We demand a ban on assault rifles and a ban on the easy access to firearms that has led to the increased militarization and weaponization of our communities.
  • We demand the demilitarization of our communities on the border and the interior. This includes ending federal programs that send military equipment into local and state communities and ceasing the call to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • We demand an immigration system that, instead of criminalizing people for trying to raise their families, prioritizes family reunification, keeps families together and allows us all to build thriving communities in the country we call home.
Download The Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America 50 Years After the Poor People’s Campaign Challenged Racism, Poverty, The War Economy/Militarism, and Our National Morality