Poor People’s Campaign Hits Maryland Capitol for Fourth Straight Week

For the fourth consecutive week, poor people, clergy and advocates will return to Annapolis as their historic reignition of the Poor People’s Campaign this week demands lawmakers ensure everyone in Maryland has the right to healthy communities and a clean environment

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Story Transcript

EDDIE CONWAY: I’m Eddie Conway. Welcome to The Real News.

I’m here in Annapolis for the fourth week in a row covering the Poor People’s Campaign. And today it’s about the environment and environmental devastation, and environmental racism.

CARLYLE WYLIE: I’m a little pessimistic. I mean, these efforts are really nice. My people been struggling with this for 500 years-plus.

BISHOP ALLYSON NELSON ABRAMS: We ask God that a change would come that would allow all people of this nation to have quality healthcare. A change that would allow for environmental justice all across this land. A change that would allow rights to clean water, to unleaded water, and water that is affordable.

REV. ANGELA MARTIN: 13.8 million households in America cannot afford water. 13.8 million households cannot afford water. Here in Maryland we have households that have no running water in 2018.

DR. LAALITHA SURAPANENI: Legislation that would protect people from losing their homes over unpaid water bills passed the Maryland House of Delegates in 2018, but did not pass the Senate. Shame.

REV. AMY WILLIAMS CLARK: We all know about Flint, but the CDC says that over 4 million families in the country have children who are being exposed to high levels of lead every day. Studies also show that this risk falls heaviest on low-income and communities of color, because they’re more likely to live in poorly-maintained housing. High levels of lead can lead to low IQ, poor grades in school, and antisocial behavior.

REBECCA MARK: We demand equal treatment and accessible housing, healthcare, public transportation, adequate income, and services for people with disability.

DANIELLE BLOCKER: We’ve been supportive of the moral movement and Poor People’s Campaign unofficially for a while, just out of the realizing of the common sense of the power that getting an intersectional, interfaith presence even more involved than they have been in the past. That’s just plain, it makes sense for, to really make things change.

CARLYLE WYLIE: You know, protest, protest, protest. I mean, it’s nice, it’s nice. But the government doesn’t care. The government just doesn’t care. And I think the bottom line, the only way to make change is to either hit them in the wallet, or vote them out of office.

EDDIE CONWAY: This is the fourth week of this action, right?

SPEAKER: It is.

EDDIE CONWAY: Next week there’s going to be something in Baltimore.

SPEAKER: There are. we’re having two actions.

EDDIE CONWAY: Two actions where?

SPEAKER: The first one will be here at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis at 2:00PM. And the next one, or part two of our actions, we say, will be in downtown Baltimore in McKeldin Square at 5:15PM. And so next week we’re calling the theme Everybody’s Got a Right to Live. And we’re specifically looking at good jobs and living wages, adequate housing, and also education. And so of course at 2:00PM, many teachers and school staff are in school. So we particularly want to have an action that is after school hours as well.