Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for Americans living in poverty in what was called the “Poor People’s Campaign.” But advocates for poor Ohioans say the problems that existed are still common. So, they’re relaunching the effort that was first kicked off a half a century ago.
Pastors and other advocates kicked off a 40-day campaign at the Statehouse.
They sang songs, carried signs and listened to speakers. Pastor Thomas Barnes of the Kemper Road Church near Cincinnati says this is one of more than 30 events that he says will focus on non-violent activism.
“Sit ins as we go forth, and to uh, just civil disobedience. We are going to kneel down and pray in the presence of those individuals to let them know that it is through prayer that we owe a first approach in trying to address this issue," Barnes says.
The nationwide effort calls for sweeping legislative changes including an end to gerrymandering and so-called right to work laws, full funding for federal anti-poverty programs, changes in immigration laws, and bans on assault weapons and fracking.