King, Obama, Economic Stimulus, Poverty, and The Poor People's Campaign, Inc.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
More than four decades later, King scholars say he would take the same approach at this historic moment — the inauguration
of the first black president at a time when the nation is facing its greatest economic
crisis since the Great Depression.
The crisis could widen the already large financial gaps between whites and blacks and make it more difficult to attain King's dream of economicequaility
"I believe that Dr. King would caution us not to rest on the election
of a black president and say our work here is done," said Kendra King, associate professor of politics at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. More HERE
Back in the Day
There are still people around who can remember back in November and December of 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) met with leaders of the movement following the passage of civil rights legislation, concerned about the emergence of black power movement and the urban riots of the previous summer. SCLC decided to launch the Poor People’s Campaign, Inc., a movement to broadly address economic inequalities with nonviolent direct action. From 1965 and 1966, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King brought the brilliant organizing insights of the SCLC to the slums of Chicago to confront the evils of a number of slum lords. King moved his own family into a rundown housing unit in Chicago’s Lawndale community (renamed Slumdale at the time by its occupants), where they endured for a time the harrowing poverty, squalor, and overcrowding that other slum residents had endured for decades. I’m also reminded that Dr. King was able to inspire many grassroots people in Chicago interested in the Poor People’s Campaign, Inc.
Since 2003, Mr Jerry L Robinson and Floyd Davis of Chicago, both long time residents and community activist in Chicago re-established the long dormant Poor People’s Campaign, Inc. Today, The Poor People’s Campaign, Inc. is working to help poor and low-income people of Chicago achieve economic prosperity and self sufficiency.
To achieve this goal, they have developed networks of community-based organizations that assist clients with comprehensive self sufficiency services. “These networks, says Jerry Robinson, help poor and low-income individuals enter the workforce.” Jerry Robinson says, “The bottom line is we connect our clients to income-enhancing benefits that help them move toward financial independence and self sufficiency.”
The Poor People’s Campaign 21 Century Style
Both Mr Jerry L Robinson, Floyd Davis, who are quintessential grass roots organizers, are not taking their efforts lightly. Floyd Davis says, “The Poor People’s Campaign, Inc. board of Directors has worked with a community development consultant out of Washington, DC to develop and approve a business model that includes a 5 year business plan.” Floyd Davis say, “We are taking grass root organizing to the next level, we will be using technology, including twitter, my-space, You-tube, and other social networking sites to organize and fund raise.”
Mr Jerry L Robinson said, “We understand that in order to succeed in our efforts to improve the plight
of the poor in Chicago, we must work with Chicago’s local workforce system, the Chicago Workforce Board and a variety of local, state and national organizations.”
He also said The Poor People’s campaign will link to a variety of public, private, and non-profit agencies, and will collaborate with city and county agencies such as, the Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services, the Chicago Jobs Council, Chicago Public Schools, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development.
Mr Jerry L Robinson and Floyd Davis say they are excited about the level of support they have received from Congressman Danny K. Davis, Congressman Bobby Rush, and the office of Mayor Richard M. Daley as they have developed and grown the Poor People's Campaign to a viable organization addressing the many need of poor People through the metro Chicago community.
Jerry Robinson said, “We plan to expand nationally to key partnership cities, including, Peoria, Illinois, Rockford, Illinois, East St. Louis, Illinois. and Los Angeles, California, in order to serve the poor people in those cities, with a clear goal of expanding nationally in major urban cities, to develop and implement projects and programs to create economic opportunity for people who are struggling to move out of poverty.”
Floyd Davis said, “We plan to work with city agencies to ensure that the new Green-collar economy
and economic stimulus plan
works for the poor as well.”Floyd went on to say, The Poor People’s Campaign, Inc. plans to provide meaningful employment opportunities – full-time jobs with living wages and benefits – to poor people in the targeted metro-Chicago area communities.” He went on to say, “Our plans are also to provide necessary supportive services to make employment possible, including life skills training, job training, quality accessible childcare, and transportation.”
Mr Jerry L Robinson said “the bottom line is poor people need jobs.” He went on to say, “The Poor Peoples Campaign will work with the city and county to recruit and train residents for construction jobs, as part of the Obama Economic Recovery Plan
.” Our plan is to work with the Chicago Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and area labor unions to develop the best possible Economic Recovery implementation strategy that includes poor people.