SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento group that says it wants to speak for those who have no voice took to the streets in their cars Monday.
The Poor People’s Campaign Caravan was part of a nationwide effort to provide more help to those most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.
Several dozen vehicles bedecked with signs and memorials to COVID-19 victims paraded in front of the State Capitol, something that was repeated in two dozen states to bring attention to the effects of the disease on the poor.
They were calling for Congress to pass a new stimulus package that includes an extension of unemployment benefits, aid for businesses, and prevention and health services.
“We need monies to come to California. We need monies to come to Sacramento so that we can survive,” said Faye Wilson Kennedy of the California Poor People’s Campaign.
In preparing for the caravan, participants were adamant about making their feelings known, as many know of someone who has contracted or died from the disease.
“We brag constantly about how we’re the richest nation in the world. Morally, we have no standing at all if we can’t take care of those least able to care for themselves,” said Louise Chegwidden, a Poor People’s Campaign supporter.
They are building their case by arguing that the poor are likely to contract the disease because of living conditions and not being able to get access to consistent medical care.
Some in the caravan said they believe poverty is the root of systemic racism along with economic injustice.
“We have to be as relentless for solutions as we have been in creating and stubbornly maintaining the way things are,” said Lisa Zimmer-Chu, a Poor People’s Campaign supporter.
Some were cautiously optimistic about a new direction with a new president, although exactly what direction is still unknown.
“Where do we go from here. I mean, to go forward and not backward,” wondered Brother Kevin Carter of the Poor People’s Campaign.
Both the House and the Senate have recessed until after the Thanksgiving holiday with agreeing on a stimulus bill. They will have just a few weeks to act because unemployment benefits and a rent moratorium expire at the end of the year.