Letter to the President

Ask the President to convene a White House Conference on the Eradication of Poverty.

Unlike the wealthiest 1 percent, the perennially poor, newly poor, and near poor have no formidable champion or legion of lobbyists to defend their cause in Washington. When individuals can no longer turn to the shelter of extended family members or friends for aid and comfort-because everybody has been laid off-poverty takes on a new meaning. The magnitude of the Great Recession confirms that poverty is no longer a personal calamity; it’s a societal crisis.

The time has come for an America without poverty!

During the nationally televised LIVE broadcast, panelists will discuss proven solutions on how government officials can contain the wildfire of American poverty. They will challenge the Obama administration within its first 100 days to aggressively address the nation’s economic crisis by refusing to abandon those Americans most in need — the perennially poor and the new poor—the country’s former middle class. Additionally, panelists will encourage citizens to make their voices heard by signing an online petition calling for a White House Conference on the Eradication of Poverty in the tradition of past White House conferences held on aging, children and youth, conservation, LGBT rights and civil rights.

Confirmed panelists include: Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, Representing the 11th District of Ohio, Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, John D. Graham, dean, Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs and author of America’s Poor and the Great Recession; Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United; Jonathan Kozol, author of Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America; Mariana Chilton, director of Center for Hungry- Free Communities and an Associate Professor at Drexel University School of Public Health; Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; and Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary Professor and author. Additional panelists to be announced.

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