How Can We Build A New Poor People’s Movement in Nebraska?

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A New Poor People’s Movement Must Have Leadership From Poor People – By Joel Berg

Imagine if the U.S. women’s suffragette movement had been led entirely by men, and its rank-and-file had been mostly male. The movement would surely have been far less galvanizing and assertive. American women might still be denied the vote.

While some white activists made the ultimate sacrifice – their lives – on behalf of equal rights for African Americans, had the Civil Rights Movement been led and populated primarily by white people, that campaign would also have been far less passionate, insistent, and effective. The Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts might stillbe languishing in Congress.

Likewise, if the LGBT crusade had merely waited for straight Americans to voluntarily grant them the right to marry, they would probably not be able to obtain a marriage license in any state, and certainly not in the 18 states where LGBT Americans can now legally marry.

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SNAP, Medicaid Help Kim Rebuild Her Life in an Unfamiliar Nebraska Town

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“Rebuilding Our Life in an Unfamiliar Town” by Kim

In June of 2010, I found myself fleeing domestic violence without any money, unemployed, homeless, and with my two children. Scared for my safety and overwhelmed with the responsibility of rebuilding our life in an unfamiliar town, I had no idea where to begin.

A local crisis center referred me to the Blue Valley Community Action Partnership for assistance with food and housing. After listening to my situation, the staff treated me with dignity as they provided my family with nutritious food from the food pantry, clothing, household goods, and new backpacks full of school supplies for my children. My family was enrolled in the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program, which enabled me to find a safe home by providing temporary financial assistance for rent and utilities.

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Inequality for All – How to take action in Nebraska

“The question is not inequality per se, the question is when does inequality become a problem? How much inequality can we tolerate and still have an economy that’s working for everyone and still have a democracy that’s functioning…the most important thing to understand is that consumer spending is 70% of the United States’ economy. And the middle class is the heart of that consumer spending. So it’s your middle class that keeps the economy going. There’s no way you can sustain the economy over the long term without a strong, vibrant and growing middle class. It can’t be done.” – Robert Reich, Inequality for All

The Coalition for a Strong Nebraska recently co-sponsored two showings of the film, INEQUALITY FOR ALL – one in Lincoln on January 27th and another in Omaha on February 6th. The goal of these events was to increase understanding of the causes and impact of income inequality and the important role the middle class plays in our economy. It was our hope that these events would elevate the level of public discourse around income inequality and catalyze meaningful conversations about what we can do to support a strong, vibrant middle class in Nebraska.

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