For Immediate Release

Contact: Leslie Boyd (828.243.6712) or Rob Stephens (336.577.9335)

North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign, Repairers of the Breach to Welcome NCGA Back to Raleigh With ‘Witness Wednesday’

RALEIGH – On Wednesday, April 24, at 11am impacted leaders, moral activists, religious leaders and our allies will rally at the State Capitol, 1 E Morgan St, Raleigh, NC to welcome legislators back to Raleigh and to demand they enact a moral public policy agenda that addresses issues of poverty and low-wealth in our state. As they return for the “short” session of the legislature, constituents will greet them in the Capitol with a stark reminder that poverty is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. The policy choices of the lawmakers can change this deadly statistic.

“We lose 800 people in the United States every single day to poverty-related causes,” said Bishop William J. Barber, II, president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach and national co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. “Poverty by America is an abolishable and unnecessary reality that can be eradicated by enacting policies that address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation and the denial of healthcare, militarism, and the false moral narrative of religious nationalism. When our politics makes it easier to get a gun than to get food, quality education, living wages, or healthcare, then there’s a problem with the soul of our nation.”

Launched on March 2 following our national coordinated mass assembly in North Carolina and across the nation, the event dubbed “Witness Wednesday,” is part of a massive effort launched by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and Repairers of the Breach, to hold legislators accountable to enacting a moral public policy agenda.

The NC PPC will hold lawmakers accountable for the devastating policies they enacted during the 2023 legislative session and shine a light on any further examples of policy violence. Instead of addressing the crises of poverty and low wages, lack of healthcare, underfunded public education, voter suppression, and environmental collapse, the General Assembly slashed taxes for the wealthy and corporations, promoted a culture of fear and hate, failed to fully fund public education, and cut protections for the most vulnerable North Carolinians. Leaders have suggested more of the same for this session.

Rev. Wayne Wilhelm, one of the tri-chairs of the North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign, stressed that lawmakers need to know North Carolinians are watching them.

“It’s important to show up and advocate,” said Wilhelm, tri-chair of North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign. “Your vote is your voice, but showing up before the vote lets them know we’re serious about the changes we need to see. Poverty is a policy choice. To allow poverty to continue when there is really more than enough for everyone is a moral failure and we will stand up and call it out. As we say in this movement, somebody’s hurting our people and we won’t be silent anymore.”

Participants will travel to the NC General Assembly to again demand leadership of both the House and Senate meet with poor and low-wage North Carolinians to discuss our agenda.

For information on the event, or to RSVP, visit www.ppc-nc.org or email northcarolina@poorpeoplescampaign.org.

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