12 Things You Can Do to Fight Poverty Right Now
We’re proud to collaborate with The Nation in sharing insightful journalism related to income inequality in America. The following is an excerpt from Nation contributor Greg Kaufmann’s “This Week in Poverty” column.
Sequester is the latest chapter in a time-honored tradition of kicking the poor when they are down. A do-nothing Congress certainly isn’t going to do something about poverty without pressure from the grassroots. And it seems that the only way most of the mainstream media will pay attention to the more than 1 out of 3 Americans living below twice the poverty line – on less than $36,000 for a family of three – is if their lives make good fodder for tabloid television or play out in a courtroom drama.
That said, there are still plenty of people and groups fighting for real change, and plenty of ways you can get involved or stay engaged. I reached out to a handful of folks who dedicate their lives to fighting poverty in different ways. Here is what they asked people to do:
1. From Sister Simone Campbell, Sisters of Social Service, executive director of NETWORK: “Support an increase in the minimum wage to more than $11 per hour.”
In fact, 57 percent of individuals and family members below the official poverty line either worked or lived with a working family member in 2011.
Contact your senators and representative and urge them to vote for a minimum wage (that is more than $11 an hour) and tipped minimum wage that reflect the dignity of ALL people
Pope Francis said on , that all workers should make wages that allow them to live with their families in dignity.
2. From the Coalition of Immokalee Workers: “Tell Publix: Help end sexual harassment, wage theft and forced labor in the fields – join the Fair Food Program today.”
Until very recently, Florida’s fields were as famous for producing human rights violations – with countless workers suffering daily humiliation and abuse ranging from wage theft to sexual harassment and even forced labor – as they were for growing oranges and tomatoes.