PPC Audit Full 410835a


1 NOT FOR CIRCULATION DRAFT REPORT March 1 6 , 2018 – – THE SOULS OF POOR FOLK Auditing America 50 Years after the Poor People’s Campaign Challenged Racism, Poverty, Militarism and our National Morality


3 Chair, Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, 2017 - - Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co 3

4 CONTENT Foreword 5 Executive Summary 9 Introduction 19 Systemic Racism 28 4 4 Poverty and Inequality 3 he War Economy and Militarism 7 T Ecological Devastation 9 4 Conclusion 17 1 1 Appendix 1 19 2 1 Appendix 2 1 4


6 The Souls of Poor Folk traces the 50 years since 1968, when Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and thousands of Americans, alarmed at their government’s blindness to human need, launched the Poor People’s Campaign. As they marched up from the nation’s neglected shadows, Dr. King paused to ans wer a plea for support from sanitation workers on strike in Memphis. There an assassin snatched th his life on April 4 . hearted, this “freedom church of the poor” gathered by the thousands in Washington. They - Broken mpment on the National Mall, to demand that their erected “Resurrection City,” their enca government address bitter poverty in the wealthiest nation in the world. They confronted fundamental questions about America’s moral and Constitutional vision for all of its people, regardless of their weal th, race, gender or national origin. They demanded attention to the hungry children and inadequate schools from Appalachia to the Mississippi Delta to the devastated inner d immoral war cities across America. They made moral witness against America’s long, pointless, an in Vietnam, and tried hard to be heard as they carried their testimony forward into public life. The hard history that compelled them to “pray with their feet,” as Rabbi Abraham Heschel said, also compelled many Americans to ask whether the r epublic for which they stood would ever stand for them. years later, beset by deepening poverty, ecological devastation, systemic racism, and an economy 50 harnessed to seemingly endless war, “The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival” likewise beckons our nation to higher ground. We call upon our society to see the predicaments of the most vulnerable among us and to halt the destruction of America’s moral vision. Hundreds of thousands across the nation today stand on the shoulders of t hat “freedom church” of 1968. We turn — — and to the realities of our own time not to wallow in a fruitless nostalgia of to America’s history pain. We seek instead to redeem a democratic promise enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Indepen dence, yet even more deeply rooted in the living ingredients of our own lives and embodied in the countless and largely unacknowledged grassroots activists who have labored to lift those founding documents to their full meaning. We come to remind our natio n what truths we evident. We come to remind our nation what values we hold dear. In Washington and hold to be self - at state capitols around the country, we hope to make a new moral witness from our love for what Maya Angelou called “these yet to be united states.” is an empirical study that brings us toward an honest confrontation with our The Souls of Poor Folk own history — how our path has unfolded since 1968 and how our nation trembles today for lack of moral vision. It summons our highest moral aspirati ons and diagnoses our deepest national ailments over five decades. It draws on academic research but also upon the testimonies of human beings battered by harmful public policies. Alongside the carefully assembled facts, you will hear the voices of America ’s poor themselves, many of them now joining this movement. “Not everything that is faced can be changed,” James Baldwin reminds us, “But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” emphasizes the complex relationships between and ac ross systemic racism, The Souls of Poor Folk persistent poverty, the war economy and its inevitable militarism, and the ecological devastation from which none can escape. These issues tangle in our lives. If you are, for instance, a mother in 2

7 r government to create and then ignore your lead poisoned water Flint, Michigan, the decision of you - inflicts an environmental crisis, a health crisis, and a jobs crisis, but also a crisis of democracy. None to endanger their of the families in Flint whose children are exposed to dangerous levels of lead voted little ones. Those in power, however, not only made decisions that poisoned the water, but, when informed about this negligence, intentionally chose not to address or even announce the threat of lasting damage this posed to these childre n; not because this pollution did not matter, but because these people did not matter. The Souls of Poor Folk day struggles of the poor and - The issues confronted in to drive the day - c racism, poverty, dispossessed. These issues demand that we dispel the notion that systemi ecological devastation and the war economy hurt only a small segment of our society. More than 40,600,000 Americans subsist below the poverty line; this report additionally shows that there are me combination of these crises every day. Nearly half of close to 140 million people dealing with so our population cannot afford a $400 emergency, which presents a structural crisis of national proportion that ties poverty to things like healthcare and housing. The devastation cuts across race, gen der, age, and geography. It has carved a dangerous and deepening moral chasm in America and inflicts a tragic loss of purpose, even among the affluent. - colored quilt of God’s children invoked America’s better 50 years ago this spring, Dr. King and a multi angels, confident that the keys to our predicaments lay in the hearts of our people. None of our trillions to war and diverse faith traditions celebrate denying food to hungry children or devoting pennies to want . No moral vision embraces the denial of he althcare to our fellow human beings. Many Americans appear to have forgotten their own values and become blind to the needs of other human beings, even those they may still hold in their hearts. These deep forms of myopia reflect still deeper failures of memory. “ The struggle of humanity against entrenched power,” writes novelist Milan Kundera, “is the struggle of memory over forgetting.” Few of the resources for the War on Poverty, which did recall that the war in Vietnam drained away many much but could have done much more. “Bombs dropped in Vietnam explode at home,” Dr. King said. Fewer still recall the prophetic voice of the Poor People’s Campaign and that Dr. King died organizing a nonvi olent revolution to push America toward a social ethos grounded in love. "We are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society," King preached before his assassination. "We re is a radical redistribution of economic must recognize that we can't solve our problem now until the and political power." It is time that we turn to our past in order to understand our present, and then turn forward together to build a better future. As shining and crucial the role of Dr. King and other notabl e leaders, neither the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968 nor our cause of love, mercy and justice today rolled forward on the gifts of a great leader. Our victories in the timeless cause of love and democracy have always required the devotion of thousands of ordinary people, local communities, grassroots groups, prophetic churches, and organizing traditions. In that spirit, the new Poor People’s Campaign will bring together people from all walks of life to the National Mall in Washington and to state capitols across the nation from May st th , 2018, just over forty days to demand that our country see the 13 to June 23 3

8 poor in our streets, confront the damage to our natural environment, and ponder the ailments of a on endless war than on human need. The time has nation that year after year spends more money come to stand together and make a national call for moral revival. 4

9 nation that year after year spends more money on endless war than on human need. The time has come to stand together and make a national cal l for moral revival. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY “The prescription for the cure rests with an accurate diagnosis of the disease.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967 5

10 is an assessment of the conditions today and trends of the past 50 The Souls of Poor Folk years in the United States. In 1967 and 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., alongside a multiracial coalition of grassroots leaders, religious leaders, and other public figures, began organizing with poor and marginalized communities across racial a nd geographic divides. Together, they aimed to confront the underlying structures that perpetuated misery in their midst. The move towards a Poor People’s Campaign was a challenge to the national morality: t was a movement to expose the injustice of the i e conomic, political, and social systems in the U.S. during their time. challenges us to take a look at how these conditions have years later, The Souls of Poor Folk 50 mary and changed since 1968. The stark findings draw from a wide variety of sources, including pri secondary data as well as interviews with and testimonies by people who have been living through and responding to these changes on the ground. Their words offer deep insight for understanding to call for a Poor People’s Campaign today. these conditions and why these leaders feel compelled The facts, figures, and faces in these pages counter numerous myths about what is wrong with our society, including two of the most prevalent: 1. Poverty is the fault of the poor There is an enduring nar rative that if these millions of people just acted better, worked harder, complained less, and prayed more, they would be lifted up and out of their miserable conditions. This report demonstrates that what Dr. King called the “Triplets of Evil” — systemic ra cism, poverty, and have t he war economy and militarism — as well as the interrelated problem of ecological devastation , deepened since 1968 because of structural and systemic reasons, rather than individual failures. 2. not enough for all of us to survive and thrive Despite our nation’s abundance, there is This report makes a clear case that the richest nation in the world has sufficient resources to protect the ic “If we explore the interconnection of system environment and ensure dignified lives for all its racism, poverty, the war economy and people. The problem is a matter of priorities, as more ecological devastation, we see how systemic a ets of and more of our wealth flows into the pock racism allows us to deny the humanity of others; by denying the humanity of others, we are given small but powerful few and into our bloated Pentagon permission to exploit or exclude people budget. economically; by exploiting and exclu ding people economically we are emboldened to The report also makes the case that the most pressing abuse our military powers and, through violence It problems of our time cannot be tackled separately. and war, control resources; this quest for control connects the attacks on voting rights to the attacks on of resources leads to the potential destruction of er, health care, living wages, and basic needs like wat our entire ecosystem and everything living in it. And we see how the current moral narrative of the shift towards the incarceration and criminalization our nation both justifies this cycle and distracts of the poor, with disparate effects across race, gender, us from it.” gender identity, and sexual orientation. It shows that Chair of the Poor Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co - People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival 6

11 our pursuit of wars not only costs countless lives abroad, but is also connected to domestic problems, including the st e 21 “In the economy of th century, only a gutting of public services, the decline in government tiny percentage of the population is immune from the possibility that they could fall into our water and air. It accountability, and the poisoning of poverty as a result of bad breaks beyond documents the decline of rural communities over the past their own control. The American Dream is 50 years, where hospitals are closing, jails are opening, and quickly becoming the American Illusion.” th diseases that had been eradicated in the 20 century are Prof. Philip Alston, United Nations Special cropping back up. Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Moreover, The Souls of Poor Folk reminds us of the ongoing and emerging resistance and organizing that is compelling a change in our national priorities. 7

12 KEY FINDINGS Systemic Racism  Legislative actions and legal decisions at the federal and state levels have severely restricted the a bility of people of color, especially poor Black people, Latinx, and Native Americans, to participate in democratic processes. This includes the 2013 Shelby v. Holder have adopted Supreme Court case, which gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Further, 23 states empted cities some form of voter suppression law since 2010, and 25 states have pre - from passing minimum wage laws (many in response to successful grassroots living wage campaigns). In Michigan, emergency financial management laws have paved the way for state - appointed and sideline unaccountable managers to democratica lly elected local officials. Flint was under emergency management when city officials “They could not take our water away without made decisions that poisoned the city’s water taking our democracy first.” supply. Claire McClinton, Flint Democracy Defense  “Tough on crime” politics has led to increased League policing of poor communities and a tenfold iscretionar increase in annual federal d y spending on prisons since 1976 . The number of sentenced 187,914 inmates of all races in U.S. state and federal prison grew from in 1968 to for 66 percent of people in prison, while they make 1,458,000 in 2016. People of color account up only about 39 percent of the total population. And the number of citizens disenfranchised due , including one in million in 1968 to to felony convictions has tripled, from 2 6.1 million in 2016 thirteen Black adults.  Federal spending on immigration, deportation, and border policies increase d from $2 billion to $17 billion and deportations increased tenfold between 1976 and 2015. These immigrant measures affect not only deportees and detainees, but also their communities and anti - expenses, meeting rent, and paying family members, who face greater difficulty in affording basic for utilities. Poverty “It is a spiritually impoverished nation that permits infants and children to be the poorest Restrictions on democratic participation are  Americans." changes in by structural compounded Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and employment towards a low - wage economy, tied President, Children’s Defense Fund At the time of to a decline in union membership. the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, productivity and 8

13 wages had been rising in tandem for at least two decades. But beginning in the 1970s, employers no lo nger shared the benefits of improved productivity with their workers. Between 1973 and 2016, hourly compensation increased just 12.3 percent, while productivity increased 73.7 - union policies like “right to work” l percent. This has been accompanied by anti aws that have undermined workers’ power to bargain collectively. Between 1968 and 2017, the share of U.S. workers in unions fell from 24.9 percent to 10.7 percent. Instead of going to workers, massive gains from economic growth have been going to a  smaller Since 1968, the top 1 percent's share of national income and smaller share of society. has nearly doubled while the official poverty rate for all U.S. families has merely inched up and down. The now own more wealth than the bottom 64 percent of the 400 wealthiest Americans U.S. population (or 204 million people).  Nearly 41 million Americans live below the federal poverty line. In absolute terms, White peop 42.5 percent of this population (17.3 million), and the next two largest groups le made up are Latinx (11.1 million) at 27.4 percen t, and Black Americans (9.2 million) at 22.7 percent. In relative terms, Native Americans and Alaska Natives have the highest poverty rate of any racial group, at 26.2 percent. B lack people have the second - highest poverty rate, at 22 percent. This is followed by Latinx people (19.4 percent), White people (11 percent), and Asian Americans (10.1 percent).  Nearly 140 million people (43.5 percent) are either poor or low - income under the - of - alternative Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which goes beyond income to consider out pocket expenses for food, clothing, housing and utilities, geographic dis parities, and federal assistance. “Low income” in this context means a household making less than twice the poverty line.  Almost four in ten children spend at least one year of their lives in poverty, meaning that there has been a rise, also, in the number of poor families. In 2016, households led by single mothers comprised almost 30 percent of families with incomes below the poverty line. Households led by Native women had the highest poverty rates (42.6 percent), followed by those headed by immigrant women (almost 42 percent), Latinx women (40.8 percent), Black women (38.8 percent) and White women (30.2 percent). LGBTQ people are dis proportionately represented among the poor as well. The scaling back of anti poverty programs has contributed to the perception that -  - By far the greatest reduction in federal spending for low government programs do not work. income families came with the p assage of Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Children Reconciliation Act in 1996, which eliminated Aid to Families with Dependent (AFDC) and replaced it with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). TANF drastically reduced resources avail able to families in poverty and imposed unrealistic work requirements. The AFDC program assisted 68 percent of poor families with children in 1996. Today, TANF assists only 23 percent of poor families with children. In all but 3 states, TANF benefits have declined since 1996, with monthly benefits in all 50 states equal to or below two - thirds of the federal poverty line. These changes in welfare were part of the overall shift towards a low - wage economy. increased significantly. Over the past  Housing, higher education, and health care costs have 30 years, rents have gone up faster than income in nearly every urban area in the country. In 9

14 2016, there was no state or county in the nation where an individual earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour cou - bedroom apartment at market rent. As of ld afford a two - 2017, for every 100 extremely low mere 35 will find affordable housing. income renters, a  Cuts in federal housing assistance and affordable, subsidized housing since the 1970s have contributed to rising structural homelessness. A government survey of people who were homeless in 2017 found that 41 p ercent were Black , 47 percent were White , and 22 percent were Latinx. A majority of homeless families are headed by single women with young children. The problem is particularly acute for LGBTQ youth, who represent between five and ten percent of A n’s young people, but between 20 and 40 percent of the homeless youth population. the natio found that a much larger number of people, estimated at 2.5 million to 3.5 million, 2015 survey sl eep in shelters or encampments at some point every year, while another estimated 7.4 million are on the brink of homelessness, having lost their own homes and transitioned into the homes of others. -  Student debt levels have exploded, driven in part by the growth of high - cost, high - risk, for profit colleges, which now make up nearly a third of new higher education opportunities. Among for - profit college students, 64 percent are women, 52 percent are people of color, 50 percent have dependent children, and 51 percent work full - time while enrolled. S tudent debt now amounts to $1.34 trillion and affects about 44 “There was a direct connection between the million Americans. people that were living in subsidized housing, the massive cuts to affordable housing, and the Even under the Affordable Care Act, about 31  need to open emergency shelter programs...And 4.6 million people remain uninsured, including then we also saw a new category of poor people million Latinx and 10.2 million Black people, homeless poor people – who were somehow – . 13.6 million Whites This is despite the fact that all the other poor people. But the different from the U.S. spends more per capita on health care than only difference between homeless poor people and housed poor people is that one is indoors $10,348 per any other country, at approximately and one is outdoors.” er cent of adults with person per year. In 2016, 43 p health insurance struggl ed to pay their deductibles, Paul Boden, director of the Western Regional nearly 30 percent had a hard time affording Advocacy Project medical bills and 73 percent cut back on basic household needs and food to pay their medical M edical debt is the number one cause of personal bankruptcy filings, with an estimated 40 bills. percent of Americans taking on debt because of medical issues.  America has become a debtor nation. Excluding the value of the family car, 19 percent of all U.S. households (60 million people), 30 percent of Black households, 27 percent of Latinx households, and 14 percent of White households have zero wealth or their debts exceeded the sets. value of their as The War Economy and Militarism Since Vietnam, the United States has waged an ongoing war against diffuse enemies,  10

15 siphoning massive resources away from The current annual military social needs. the creation of “Our society is responsible for this soldier and that soldier’s mind, more so I budget, at $668 billion, dwarfs the $190 billion think than the individual person, because you cated for education, jobs, housing, and allo are taught who to be... And I know a number of other basic services and infrastructure. Out of members [of Veterans for Peace] who have every dollar in federal discretionary spending, done horrendous things and they’re paying a 53 cents goes towards the military, with just 15 price, a person al price, every day and every poverty programs. cents on anti - night.” Michael McPhearson, Gulf War veteran and Washington’s wars of the last 50 years have  director of Veterans for Peace had little to do with protecting Americans, he profit motive has increased while t With private contractors now significantly. times as many military oles, there have been almost 10 performing many traditional military r the Afghanistan and Iraq wars as there were during the Vietnam War, contractors per soldier in many of them making far more money than underpaid U.S. soldiers. Army privates in combat , the disparities are even more pay scale earned less than $30,000 in 2016. At the top end of the e xtreme. In 2016, the CEOs of the top five military contractors earned on average $19.2 million — more than 90 times the $214,000 earned by a U.S. military general with 20 years of experience, including housing allowances and extra combat pay and approximately 640 times the amount earned by A rmy privates in combat. U.S. military interventions have caused staggering numbers of civi  lian deaths in poor , third - almost one more civilians died in Afghanistan United Nations According to the countries. during the first nine months of 2017 than during that same period in 2009 when the counting began. Compared to the same period in 2016, there was a 52 percent increase of civilian deaths from airstrikes in 2017, with wome n and children comprising 68 percent of these deaths. In 2012, suicide claimed Perpetual war has also taken a toll on U.S. troops and personnel.  more military deaths than military action . A follow - found that in 2014, the risk of suicide was up study “A s horrifying as the status of women in 22 percent higher amo ng veterans than among U.S. Afghanistan may sound to those of us who live civilian adults. By September 2017, an average of 20 in the West, the biggest problems faced by veterans were still dying by suicide each day. Among Afghan women are not related to patriarchy. women in the military, sexual harassment is rampant. Their biggest problem is war.” Department of Veterans Affairs A 2012 survey indicated that nearly half of female military Sonali Kolhatkar and Mariam Rawi , Afghan personnel sent to Iraq or Afghanistan had reported women activists being sexually harassed, and nearly 25 percent said they had been sexually assaulted.  Militarism abroad has gone hand in hand with the militarization of U.S. borders and of Local police are now equipped with war machinery poor communities across this country. such in response to protests over , deployed in Ferguson, Missouri as the armored military vehicle the police killing of a Black teenager, Michael Brown, in 2014. Young Black males have been 11

16 hardest hit by t his escalation in force. They are nine be killed by police officers than more likely to times “Why invest in children, or healing and recovery, when there’s money to be made in keeping the other Americans, while rates of police killings for jails full?” Native American and Latinx men are also disproportionately high and poor youth of all races Aaron Scott, Chaplains on the Harbor have suffered. The perpetual war economy is also linked  Policies that to the broader trend of criminalization of the poor over the past 50 years. criminalize the very condition of being poor have continued to expand since the 2008 financial admission, of the growth in the ninety five percent crisis. By the Department of Justice’s own - incarcerated population since 2000 is the result of an increase in the number of defendants increased unable to make bail. This is also the result of the fact that bail amounts themselves have over the years. Ecological Devastation the other injustices  The U.S. and global climate and ecological crises are multipliers of documented in this report. Fossil fuel, chemical, and other industries have been allowed to 9 million premature deaths (16 poison our air, water, and land, contributing to an estimated percent of all deaths) worldwide in 2015 — three times more deaths than from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence. The ronmental death toll is expected to rise envi exponentially as a result of climate change. And the poor, particularly poor people of color, face the “It was one thing to know that you didn't have worst impacts. water and you couldn't afford your water. It's a whole other thing to find out they shut off your  The tragic effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto entire community’s water and none of you Rico in 2017 are a disturbing example of rising matter.” climate change threats, particularly for the Catastrophic events like hurricanes and poor. Valerie Jean, mother of five, grandmother of two, and member of Michigan Welfare Rights flooding are partly attributable to climate change Organization and are expected to become more frequent. When Maria hit Puerto Rico, where the poverty rate was already 43.5 percent , almost the entire island lost access to electricity. Two months later, more than half of the island’s residents still lacked power and about nine percent lacked water. The delay was partly due to t he poor state of the island’s infrastructure, which had been allowed to deteriorate as the U.S. Congress pressured the island indicates as many as 1,025 New York Times analysis to prioritize debt payments to Wall Street. A people may have died as a result of the hurricane. Across the United States, poor people face crises of water affordability, water p ollution,  and water scarcity in some areas exacerbated by climate change. As a percentage of income, poor households spend seven times as much on water bills as wealthy households. The United 3 percent of tes do not exceed Nations recommends that, in order to remain affordable, water ra household income. Yet, there are income households that already spend more l - 13.8 million ow 12

17 than 4.5 percent of their income on water, and some off rates of 20 communities are facing water shut - “Our addiction to fossil fue ls in America is so predominant that we have spent an insane percent or more. Federal assistance to local water amount of military assets to protect it — the systems is now 74 percent below its peak in 1977, drilling, the supply, the trade, and pathways for for inflation, even as pipes are aging and adjusted fossil fuels. And here we are again in another infrastructure investment needs are rising. brutal occupation that’s not in Iraq or the East, but in our own country, against our Middle  While poor urban populations deal with own citizens, people who have lived generations rising water bills, the rural poor often lack access before White people arrived, fighting against to piped water and sewage systems, with striking these same mechanisms, the same corporations, According to a 2016 study racial disparities. , an the same government agencies, to try and stop estimated 540,000 households (1.4 million to 1.7 this environmental coloniali sm. There is a direct million peo ple) reported a lack of access to complete relation to my fight in Iraq for oil and these plumbing facilities. Of the 20 counties with the highest people's fight here against oil.” percentage of households lacking access to complete plumbing, all were rural and 13 had a majority Native Garett Rappenhagen, an Iraq War veteran who joined a delegation of veterans to Standing Rock, American or Alaskan Native population. North Dakota in 2016 Meanwhile, pipeline infrastructure to  transport oil and gas has been expanding, even though it poses serious threats to the climate, water quality, and public health through leakage as well as catastrophic spills. The proximity of pipelines to freshwater sources is particularly dangerous, since leaks of pollutants into water can spread large distances and affect drinking water sources for down stream significant communities. Between 1998 and 2017 , there have been 5, 712 oil and gas leaks or 2,441 ruptures on U.S. pipelines. Between 1964 and 2015, there were spills from offshore oil drilling o perations in U.S. territorial waters, discharging almost 5.2 million barrels (218 million gallons) of oil. The largest of these was the 4.9 million barrel Deepwater Horizon “BP” oil spill off the coast of Louisiana in 2010. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) was responsible for emitting 72 percent  of the U.S. s in 2016. The DoD’s overseas emissions, which government’s total greenhouse gas emission are produced during the most destructive operations of the U.S. military, accounted for 56 percent of the U.S. Government’s total greenhouse emissions; however, these overseas emissions . Government’s emissions reduction goals. are exempt from the U.S *** As Rev. Dr. King said in 1967, “we must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism are all tied together...you can’t really get rid of one without getting rid of the other.” Today these evils, along with ecological devastation, have become more and more tightly bound together. They are part of a larger system that has concentrated economic and political power into fewer and fewer hands, driving a deepening and dangerous inequality that is impacting the majority of people in this country. This means we must break through the notion that systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, militarism and ecological devastation only hurt a small segment of our society. 13

18 There are 140 million peo ple struggling every day, and even more are saddled with debt or otherwise unable to make ends meet. Meanwhile, a small minority has amassed unheard - of wealth and power. In 2017, just three White men owned as much wealth as the bottom half of the U.S. popu lation or 160 million people. And of the top 400 wealthiest people in the U.S., there are just two Black individuals class not and five with Latinx backgrounds. This predominantly White super wealthy , however, do es represent the conditions facing the majority of White people in the country, even though they are used to prop up and maintain systemic racism and systems of white supremacy that keep peo ple poor, in debt and in jail. This report shows what has happen ed as the government increasingly caters to the interests of those few rich and powerful rather than being accountable to the poor and marginalized majority. In . response, it is necessary to bring together all those who are impacted to build their own power This kind of power is emerging through the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. — from abolition, Throughout America’s history “ — to women’s suffrage, to labor and civil rights The Poor People’s Campaign is a moral fusion coalition real social change has come when impacted - racial, multi - gendered, intergenerational, that is multi people have joined hands with allies of good will faith and constitutionally grounded and has been - inter to stand together against injustice. These t simply stand against movements did no growing in more than 25 states around the country. It is partisan foes. They stood for the deep moral to build a unity across race, issue, gender, seeking center of our Constitutional and faith traditions. Those deep wells sustained poor and impacted sexual identity, age, faith and geography gender identity, people who knew in their bones both that that can break through the politics that divide us. power concedes nothing without a fight and the end, love is the greatest power to that, in . sustain a fight for what is right ” The Souls of Poor Folk is providing an empirical basis to build and strengthen that unity. It also is only a Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, Co - Chair of the Poor beginning. It does not, and cannot, address the full range People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral of issues under each theme. For this reason, we hope Revival that it encourages more research, debate, and analysis, s o that we may, together, identify the solutions we so desperately need. 14

19 Introduction The Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America 50 Years after the Poor People’s Campaign Challenged Racism, Poverty, Militarism and our National Morality Shailly Gu pta Barnes, Esq., The Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Jr., Pastor Emeritus, Riverside Church Dr. Tim Tyson, Senior Research Scholar, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University 15

20 Callie Greer’s daughter, Venus, died in her arms because she did not have health care. Venus did not die because it was her time to go or because God called her home, but because Alabama did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Venus’ death is not an isolated event. She was killed by the intersecting injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and a distorted moral narrative. More than 250,000 people like Venus die in the United States from poverty and rel ated issues every year, according to a 2009 study from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. The politicians who pass policies that result in death and hardship for many maintain control of our political system voter suppression. Rather than invest in programs that improve equity, our through racialized federal government spends fifty - three cents of every dollar on the war economy. Meanwhile, climate on our lives and change and ecological devastation from oil spills to pollution are wreaking havoc livelihoods, even as the name of God is used to justify these attacks on poor people and the earth. Why the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival led for a “revolution of values” and many others cal 50 years ago, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , in America. They invited people who had been divided to stand together against the “triplets of — militarism, racism, and economic injustice — to insist that people need not die from poverty in evil” exist. They sought to build a broad, fusion coalition that would audit the richest nation to ever America: Together, they would demand an accounting of promissory notes that had been returned marked “insufficient funds.” Today that effort is still incomplete. The Poor People’s Cam paign: A National Call for Moral Revival has developed out of years of organizing across the United States. In communities across this land, people impacted by systemic ive have said racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and our distorted moral narrat the same thing: “We want to be free! We need a Poor People’s Campaign! We need a Moral Revival to make this country great for so many for whom it has not yet been.” he states up. This is the To carry on this unfinished work, we are building a national movement from t kind of movement we need to unleash what Dr. King called “a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.” The fights for racial and economic equality are as inseparable today as they were half a century ago. We face a crisis in America: more than two in five Americans are poor or low - income, while millions of children and adults continue to live without access to health care, housing, clean water, or good jobs. At the same time, the issues of poverty and racism have be en forced to the margins of the moral narrative and debate in our society. The distorted moral narrative that dominates the discussion has a limited focus on personal morality, overshadowing and supplanting a commitment to public morality rooted in a criti que of systemic greed, racism, and injustice. There was a time when our nation fought a War on Poverty; now, it seems, we are waging a war on the poor. Our social fabric is stretched thin by widening income inequality, while politicians 16

21 or, fan the flames of racism and xenophobia to divide the poor, and steal from the criminalize the po poor to give tax breaks to our richest neighbors and budget increases to a bloated military. Why an audit al - life stories, The Poor People’s Because we believe in the importance of empirical analysis and re Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival commissioned this “audit” of the past 50 years. We must take stock of where our country has headed over the past 50 years and where we are today in order to suggest where we mus t go. We are pleased to release The Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America 50 Years After the Poor People’s Campaign Challenged Racism, Poverty, Milit arism and Our National Morality and with it, a clear framework for the moral agenda of the Poor People’s Ca mpaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. This report shines a light on the facts, figures and faces of those most impacted by systemic poverty, racism and militarism, over the past 50 years. It reminds us that we stand on the shoulders of freedom fight ers who helped lead the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign and that we also have far to go to overcome systemic racism, poverty, militarism and the war economy and ecological devastation. It – val in the land we need confirms the fact that we need a Poor People’s Campaign and a moral revi to shift the moral narrative in this country and proclaim that health care, voting rights, housing, living and equal protection under the law are the real moral values wage jobs, education, just immigration, we must hold up. It sh ows us that poor and marginalized people from all backgrounds, all places, and all religions are organizing and fighting for their lives, rights and deepest values. It insists that all humans have dignity and that life is sacred. In the stories and statist ics shared in this Audit, we see the heart, souls, and leadership of poor people who are standing up to injustice and building a new world. Why we must shift the moral narrative the distorted moral The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival aims to shift narrative, often promoted by religious extremists, from a focus on narrow issues like prayer in school, abortion, and gun rights to a focus on how our society treats the poor, those on the marg ins, the least of these, LGBTQ folks, workers, immigrants, the disabled and the sick; to how we institutionalize equality and equal representation under the law; and how we realize the desire for peace, love and harmony within and among nations. In the 2016 Presidential Election, debates in the primaries and the general election. there wer e 25 Not one of these debates focused significantly on voter suppression, poverty, ecological devastation, e United States or the war economy, all of which are central issues that impact most of us living in thes most of the time. For too long the accepted moral narrative in America has blamed poor people for their poverty, pitted people against each other, separated systemic racism from poverty and ecology and the war economy, and spread the lie of scarcity: the idea that there is not enough to go around. And we have inherited a language that is too timid and puny for the crisis we face. The language of 17

22 left versus right and liberal versus conservative is too trivial to challenge the extremism that overwhelms our public discourse. We need a deeper, moral language to name this crisis: we need moral clarity. We must say, “Some things are not right versus left, but right versus wrong.” Why a moral fusion movement? The Poor People’s Campaign: A Nationa l Call for Moral Revival is rooted in a moral analysis based on our deepest religious and constitutional values that demand justice for all. Every major religious tradition places challenging oppression and criticizing systems of injustice at the center of its moral considerations. In addition, the moral principles of our Constitution are focused on establishing justice for the general welfare. We have lost this direction and a moral revival is necessary to change course and save the heart and soul of our d emocracy. This means lifting up and deepening the leadership of those most affected by systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation and building understanding and unity across lines of division. We know this is necessary because t he rivers of resistance in our traditions echo their truths down through the centuries. And we know it is possible because we have seen it in North Carolina and in other states across the country. When extremist forces took over all three branches of gover nment in North Carolina, people cried out in resistance. “Moral Mondays” protests drew tens of thousands focused civil disobedience - government - to our state house in 2013 and inspired the largest state campaign in U.S. history. We dug deep into our state’ s history of fusion politics and committed to stand together. And we learned something about extremism: the same folks who were attacking public schools in our state were attacking health care. And the same folks against health care were against the LGBTQ community. And they were against labor. And they were attacking immigrants and Muslims and poor people. And to top it all off, the extremists were crying “voter fraud” as justification for the worst voter suppression measures since Jim Crow. All of these c onnections revealed something deeper about our movement: if they were cynical enough to get together on all of these issues, we had to be issue silos and fight together in the streets, in the courageous enough to come out of our single - legislature, in the courts and at the ballot box. Through sustained moral fusion organizing, we were able to push back against extremism for four long years; to see political change in the defeat of an extremist Republican governor, the election of our state Supreme Court, a federal court order for special elections to a progressive majority to address racial gerrymandering in state legislature districts, and the overturning of a monster voter suppression law that targeted African - Americans “with almost surgical precision,” a ccording to a federal court. What began with an outcry in North Carolina became a sustained movement for political change through moral, fusion organizing, led by poor and impacted people. w York, Michigan, Texas, And decades before, poor and homeless people in Pennsylvania, Ne California, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Minnesota and many states across the country had united and organized across racial and geographic lines to win voting rights and housing rights and workers’ 18

23 rights. They stand ready now to con tinue the fight and build the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Throughout America’s history — from abolition, to women’s suffrage, to labor and civil rights — real social change has come when impacted people have joined hands wit h allies of good will to stand together against injustice. These movements did not simply stand against partisan foes. They stood for the moral center of our Constitutional and faith traditions. Those deep wells sustained poor and in their bones both that power concedes nothing without a fight and that, impacted people who knew in the end, love is the greatest power to sustain a fight for what is right. This moment requires us to push into the national consciousness a deep moral analysis as the foundation for an agenda to combat systemic poverty and racism, war mongering, economic injustice, voter suppression, and other attacks on the most vulnerable. We need a long term, sustained movement led by the people who are directly impacted by extremism. The Kairo s Center and Repairers of the Breach and the dozens and hundreds of organizations we have worked with over the years have laid the foundation for this campaign over the past decade. Much like Septima Clark and the Highlander Center’s Citizenship Schools in the 1950s and 60s, we have identified and connected grassroots leaders across the nation who are ready to join hands with new allies for sustained direct action that can fundamentally shift the narrative about who we are and who we want . to be in this land – our nation is in need of a movement, not just a moment. We are in need of This much is clear transformation not just transaction. We need change not charity. And this nonviolent, multiracial, intergenerational, army of the poor is rising up to break every chain of injustice in the land. During slavery, Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass and some Quakers and white evangelicals got together and formed a fusion movement that brought about abolition. When women didn’t have the right to vote, Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton got together, and they stood together until suffrage was won. Every major social movement in this nation’s history has won, in the end, of tyranny. It’s because a moral, fusion coalition came together and refused to stand down in the face our time now. Why a launch, not just commemoration? On December 4, 2017, grassroots leaders and clergy and activists launched the Poor People’s th anniversary of the call for a Poor Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. This was the 50 People’s Campaign in 1967/68. But this Campaign is not a commemoration of what Dr. King and others did 50 years ago. We believe the only way you can honor the work that has come before is to reach back and pick up the ba ton and continue to build a movement. We stand on the shoulders of great leaders who have come before and fought for justice. But now this is our fight. When thousands of people from at least 25 states across the country and Washington D.C. engage in a se ason of nonviolent moral fusion direct action, we will begin to break through the noise of racism, 19

24 poverty, militarism, ecological devastation, and Christian nationalism to demonstrate that another America is possible. Our work for the months and years to come is to build the political will and power to become the country we have never yet been. - This will necessarily be a multi year undertaking. The 40 days will not be the culmination of work grassroots leaders are doing throughout the country, but a launch of a powerful, diverse, constitutionally grounded, moral movement in the United States. Why State Capitols and Washington DC? - based movements to serve as a vehicle for a powerful, We will build up the power of people and state long - term, moral mov ement in this country; and to transform the political, economic and moral structures of our society. We recognize the need to organize at the state and local level — many of the most regressive policies are being passed at the state level, and these policies will have long and lasting effect, past even executive orders. This movement must grow from the ground - up, not from peace, pro - racist, pro - the top - down: We are nationalizing state - based moral anti - poverty, anti - ecology movements with those most impacted i n the lead. Why five interlocking injustices? Our experience in communities across this land has revealed how these five injustices intersect in America today. We have seen how systemic racism allows the powerful to deny the humanity of others; by denyin g the humanity of others, they are given permission to exploit or exclude people economically; they make use of their military powers to defend their ability to exploit and exclude people, and to control resources; this quest for control of resources leads to the potential destruction of our entire ecosystem and everything living in it. And we see how the current moral narrative of our nation both justifies this cycle and distracts us from it. In Detroit, on the day that DACA was revoked by Donald Trump, a young Latino man named Adonis stood in front of a crowd as diverse as America and said, “They came after our Muslim neighbors, and we went to the airports to stand with them. They came after our sick family members, and we fought the repeal of the ACA. Th ey’re coming after DACA now, and we’re going to stand. But we’re not just standing for ourselves. We’re standing for all of us.” Adonis was speaking at a press conference and mass meeting of the Campaign. This mass meeting followed ones in Charlotte, Nor th Carolina and Albuquerque, New Mexico; Detroit, Michigan; Topeka, Kansas and Louisville, Kentucky; Charlottesville, Virginia and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Black, brown, Native, white, young, old, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, agnostic, straight, and queer people packed into houses of worship to proclaim that we need a Poor People’s Campaign and a revolution of values in our society. This Campaign is bringing people together, breaking down walls that have been erected to divide us f people to right the wrongs of society and bring liberty and justice for all. and building the power o 20

25 Why the souls of poor folk? Indeed, there is a moral movement rising up in this country that is calling out these contradictions in our national morality. We are well aware th at the only remedy for our moral crisis is a transformed national heart: a moral movement for families and communities rooted in constitutional and sacred values of compassion, empathy, and courageous dedication to the common good. There is inalienable w orth and intrinsic value to every person, regardless of wealth or public position. Policies that hurt the poor are a violation of that inalienable value. The “Souls of Poor Folk” is a declaration of the inherent value of every human being and a reminder th at we are all worthy of the very necessities of life. It is also in direct contradiction to those who make moral claims about caring for the souls of people, but then pass policies that destroy their bodies and communities. Please share the Souls of Poor Folk with anyone who has experienced this crisis first hand, or will listen to those who have. We invite everyone interested in being a part of this movement to join the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. www.poorpeoplescampaign.org . Sign the pledge to get involved by going to 21

26 A Fusion Movement in the South: The Moral Monday/Forward Together Movement Moral Movement, better known as “Moral Monday,” originated in North Carolina. Its weekly The Forward Together protests in 2013 gave it the nickname, but the movement rested on seven prior years of coalition - building around issues like poverty, public education, voting rights, racial justice, living wages, women’s rights, environmental protection and healthcare. In 2006, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, then President of the North Carolina NAACP, and a ns to launch the Historic Thousands on corps of activists brought together sixteen progressive statewide organizatio Jones Street coalition (HKONJ). Those sixteen grew to more than two hundred civic and religious groups. “We recognized that many of the same political forces that are against, say, gender rights, are often also again st education equality, environmental justice, and policies that help the poor,” recalls Rev. Dr. Barber. “And so we said that we needed in North Carolina — and we g to really address the said this when Democrats were in office — to revive a new form of Fusion politics if we were goin South.” Fusion politics emerged in the South after the Civil War. “Between 1865 and the turn of the twentieth century,” writes University of Chicago historian Jane Dailey, “every state south of the Mason - Dixon line experimented wi th political alliances that spanned the color line.” In Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina, interracial coalitions won control of state governments. e suffrage North Carolina’s Fusion Movement came to power in 1868 and abolished slavery, provided universal mal without regard to race or property ownership, and made public education a constitutional right. In the 1870s, white supremacists overthrew democratic governance. But in the 1890s, the Fusion Movement rose again. Black citizens who to the ballot and safety from white terrorism joined with white farmers sick of exploitation by the banks, sought access railroads, and rising industrialists. They championed free public education, modest regulation of monopoly capitalism, elected a Fusionist governor, swept the legislature, and took both U.S. Senate seats. and “one man, one vote.” They Though hardly perfect, the Fusion coalition forged a bold experiment in interracial democracy. In 1898, white conservatives overthrew the government, stripped the vote fr om African Americans, and built a one - party Jim Crow state that lasted until the 1960s. Fusion politics nevertheless lit a beacon in whose light the civil rights movement marched and which the Moral Monday coalition lifted again. In 2010, far - right Republ icans took a majority in the legislature and drew new voting districts along racial lines. This They quickly passed bills designed to tamp down maneuver allowed them to win a legis lative super - majority in 2012. r people . The legislature also slashed unemployment benefits, cut taxes d poo voting by young people, Black, Latinx an on the wealthy and corporations while raising them on the bottom 95 percent of citizens. They eliminated the Earned Income Tax Credit for 900,000 lower income families and blocked expa nsion of Medicaid, which pushed half a million poor people off their health insurance. That spring of 2013, the Fusion coalition, avoiding partisan and ideological divisions and focusing on common moral ion of poor, wealthy and middle class; medical professionals and and democratic values, stitched together a huge coa lit the uninsured; Christians, Jews, Muslims, and people from many other faith traditions alongside non - religious citizens who shared their belief in a social order grounded in love; LGBTQ gro ups and environmentalists; women’s rights advocates and labor unions; teachers and students; Democrats and Republicans. The movement built momentum in 2013 by turning out people every Monday at the state legislature to protest the outpouring of harsh an d immoral laws. On April 29, about a hundred people showed up and the Capitol Police arrested seventeen demonstrators. Over the next eighteen weeks of “Moral Mondays,” more than a thousand people went to jail in acts of civil disobedience. Tens of thousand s flooded the General Assembly. Over the next four months, North Carolina’s Republican governor fell from 65 percent approval ratings to 34 percent; he subsequently became the only GOP incumbent that could not ride Trump’s coattails. 22

27 A Fusion Movement in the South: The Moral Monday/Forward Toge ther Movement Cont. In 2014, the Moral Monday Movement gathered an estimated 80,000 for the Moral March on February 14. In 2015, th the 4 Circuit Court of Appeals struck down what they termed the state’s “racial gerrymander.” The next year, movement attorneys defeated the 2013 voter suppression bill. In 2015, Rev. Barber and others from the Moral Monday Movement created Repairers of the Br each, dedicated to a moral agenda rooted in moral and constitutional values. On September 12, 2016, activists from Moral Monday and Repairers of the Breach, the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice, labor organizers from Fight for $15, ith leaders like Sister Simone Campbell and Nuns on the Bus, and religious and political groups across the nation fa organized “A Moral Day of Action” with simultaneous protests at thirty state capitols. They delivered the “Higher Ground Moral Declaration” to their respective state elected officials. In 2016, Repairers of the Breach made a commitment to revive the Poor People’s Campaign with the Kairos Center and hundreds of churches and grassroots organizations across the country. A Time of Crisis and Opportunity: The Kairos Center and Poverty Initiative Kairos: The Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice was launched in 2013 at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. The word “Kairos” describes a break in time : a moment when opportuni ties arise to dramatically change society and move it in a new direction. A kairos moment is often a time of crisis, but also transformation. True to its nizing and of social movements, grassroots orga to continuing a long history name, the Kairos Center is committed religious and political education to strengthen transformative movements for social change. The cornerstone program of the Kairos Center is the Poverty Initiative, which, over the course of a decade, has established a wide and deep network of more than 1000 community and religious leaders, representing more than 350 organizations and congregations spanning 30 states and 17 countries. This multiracial and diverse network is on the frontlines of the struggles for water, housing, welfare, heal th c are, education, farmworkers and food justice, living wages, criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, an end to war and more. Many of the leaders in the Kairos Center’s network have roots in much earlier struggles for justice, including: the National Unio n of the Homeless, the National Welfare Rights Organization, the Anti - war and Peace movements, and the Civil Rights and Black Freedom struggles, among others. Through strategic dialogues, organizing tours, grassroots exchanges, public events and truth co mmissions, the Kairos Center has been able to expand and deepen this network over the past five years. This includes connecting with the Moral Mondays/Forward Together leadership and the Repairers of the Breach. In 2016, the Kairos Center’s co - director, Re v. Dr. Liz Theoharis joined a 30 - state “Moral Revival” tour with Rev. Dr. Barber, Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon, Sister Simone Campbell and Rev. Dr. James Forbes. This tour brought together clergy and community leaders, Fight for $15 Fast Food workers, and other people of good conscience to raise up fundamental moral values of love, dignity, equality, and democracy to the most pressing issues of our time. In April 2017, the Kairos Center and Repairers of the Breach organized a gathering at the historic Highland er Center with more than 40 grassroots, community and religious leaders and cultural artists to begin planning towards the 2017 - 2018 Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. 23

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29 built upon the structural denial of basic rights to people of color, establishing The United States was a system of white supremacy. This system began with the genocide of indigenous people and slavery. of people through the It concentrated economic and political power in the hands of a small number politics of oppression and division. While the laws, institutions, and outcomes associated with systemic racism have changed over the course of history, the inequality produced by it still operates today. Recognizing and engaging in is essential for collective resistance against this political order building power among the poor in America. - Circumstances have also changed since the mid 20th century. By the launch of the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968, the Civil Rights Movement had ac hieved several milestones for racial equality. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 signaled major progress in ending overt racism in public policy. Racist public discourse had also become less socially acceptable. Yet the rule of white supremacy continued to operate as a form of civic hierarchy, attaching political, economic, and social benefits to racial identity. Political tactics aimed at stirring up White resentment ords like “welfare queen” and racial and fear of people of color persisted in the form of code w stereotypes like the notorious “Willie Horton” ads of the 1988 presidential campaign. These tactics were used across the political spectrum and further embedded racial inequality in U.S. institutions, cementing racial g aps in a wide range of areas. After 2016, emboldened White nationalists took to the streets brandishing Nazi symbols and notable rise in the number based hate - of U.S. glorifying the pro - slavery Confederacy, signifying a . This resurgence of racist rhetoric and organizing is rooted in the systemic retrenchment of groups racial disparities across a number of areas in American society over the past 50 years. This inequality operates beyond the individuals and communities most directly impacted to undermine the basic tenets of our democracy and human rights. This section identifies some of the key indicators of systemic racism in trends and policies relating to voter suppression, immigration, education, health , and criminal justice. Section I: Voter Suppression More than 50 years after the Voting Rights Act, people of color still experience a broad range of enship, attacks on their voting rights, including racialized redistricting, voter ID laws, proof of citiz voter restriction hurdles, reduction of days for early and absentee voting, felony disenfranchisement, purging of voter rolls, preemption laws, and emergency financial manager appointments. While - racialized voter suppression tactics have continually operated in the post , their civil rights era dramatic rise in the past decade has curtailed the democratic freedoms of millions in the U.S. Despite an overwhelming lack of evidence , policymakers have successfully pushed the myth of the 21st century, voter suppression laws have widespread voter fraud into political discourse. In become an in creasingly popular strategy for restricting voting blocs that feature large numbers of voters of color and the poor, creating barriers to voting along race and class lines. 25

30 According to the Electoral Integrity Project, partisan redistricting and gerryman dering were the greatest threat to fair elections in the United States in 2016 . U.S. Supreme Court In May 2017, the ruled on the racially discriminatory intent of voter suppression laws, refusing to revive a North Carolina election law that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had found to "target African Americans with almost surgical precision." ing parts of the North Carolina law The court found that the follow disproportionately affected Black people: shortening early voting from 17 days to 10 days; voter ID requirements; elimination of same - day registration and preregistration of some teenagers; and a ban on counting votes ca st in the wrong precinct. On January 9, 2018, a federal court ordered North Carolina to redraw its districts on the grounds that they demonstrated partisan bias. Recent court battles over district lines in Native American communities further highlight the process At lea st 17 states in 2016 have seen cases brought to of racialized voter suppression strategies. litigation or tribal diplomacy involving voter suppression that has targeted Native American and/or Alaskan Native voters. In some instances, Native American voters have had to travel an average of without access to reliable public transportation. two hours to submit a ballot In total, the Brennan Center for Justice has reported that 23 states adopted various forms of voter suppression laws since 2010, including 13 with more restrictiv e voter ID laws (6 with strict photo ID with laws making it harder to register, 6 with reduced early voting days and hours, requirements), 1 1 and 3 that made it harder to restore voting rights for people with past criminal convictions. Between 2013 2001 and 201 were introduced in state legislatures. Then, in the 910 restrictive voter ID bills 2, Shelby County v. Holder case , the Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act that had required federal preclearance for certain jurisdictions. ell Eaton: A Lifelong Fight for the Right to Vote Miss Rosan n In 1942, Miss Rosa ell Eaton registered to vote at th e age of 18 in North Carolina. She approached the Franklin County Courthouse on a mule and was asked by a panel of three White men to stand up straight and repeat the Preamble of the Constitution. After she passed the literacy test, she became one of the f ew Black people to be registered to vote in the era of Jim Crow. A lifelong voting rights activist, she registered more than 4,000 people to vote in North Carolina. And then in 2013, after 70 years of voting and because her name on her voter registration c ard did not match her driver’s license, she lost her ability to vote. She pressed on, making nearly a dozen trips to various state agencies and became at a rally in 2015, one of the key plaintiffs in the case against the North Carolina voting rights restrictions. As she said “Here I am at 92 years old doing the same battling. I have registered over 4,000 citizens in the state and am at it again, ort to alongside Republicans’ efforts to eliminate and cut early voting and to outlaw Sunday's voting, alongside the eff keep college students from voting by inflicting a heavy financial penalty on their parents if they attempt to vote away from home...At the age of 92, I am fed up and fired up!” which found that states with a high turnout of 2015 national study All of this is consistent with a voters of color in the previous presidential election were on average expected to see more than three ws can have significant effects on voter additional restrictive proposals every two years. Such la University of California San Diego study that looked at the most common voter turnout. A 26

31 ession tactic voter ID laws — found that they doubled the turnout gap between Whites and suppr — - Black turnout gap in primary Latinx people in general elections, and nearly doubled the White elections. By 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election: Mississippi Alabama , Arizona , Indiana , Kansas , South , Nebraska , New Hampshire , Ohio , Rhode Island , Texas , , Tennessee , Carolina Virginia , and Wisconsin. These steps disproportionately target low - eight income residents and neighborhoods of color. When including felony voter disenfranchisement, nacted voter suppression laws, or only recently saw such laws out of the ten poorest states have e overturned in federal court. 1968, the number of disenfranchised voters has tripled, from 2 million to 6.1 million Americans Since , including one in thirteen Black adults. In four states ( Florida, Kentucky, Virginia, and in 2016 ) Tennessee , more than one in five Black adults cannot vote. Nationally, 13 percent of all Black men have been denied t he right to vote. As the Center for American Progress reports, the political barriers that previously incarcerated Black men and women face go ha nd in hand with barriers to employment, housing, public assistance and education. The map in Figure 1.1 below reveals how voter suppression at the state level is often accompanied by economic suppression. Thirteen states that passed voter suppression laws also opted not to accept to expanded Medicaid benefits offered under the Affordable C are Act, denying much - needed support more than a million people of color. Caitlin Swain, a civil rights attorney who challenged the North Carolina voter s uppression laws, has noted that, “The same states that have the most voter suppression efforts also host the greatest denial of healthcare, denial of living wages, the highest rates of incarceration and disproportionate imprisonment of people of color, and the highest rates of child poverty. Affordable housing, disability the benefits, medical care, income and living wages, protections against environmental racism, and divestment of long true - term wealth in our communities foundationally depend on the right to a political voice.” 27

32 Figure 1.1 Sources: Repairers of the Breach, based on data from the Brennan Center for Justice and the Kaiser Family Foundation. The imposition of “emergency financial managers” on cities in dire fiscal straits also makes clear this relationship between voter suppression on the one hand and policies with heightened impact on the poor on the other. In Michigan, under personal appointment by the governor, emergency managers have sweeping powers, incl uding the authority to dismiss elected officials, scrap labor contracts, sell off public assets, and impose new taxes, yet they are not accountable to voters. - Kellerman, who faced trial for According to Michigan Welfare Rights Organization’s Bill Wylie offs as one of the p rotesting water shut - , “Every Black city in the state of Michigan has been Homrich 9 under non - elected governmen ts where an emergency manager appointed by the Governor has all the powers of the government in one person: [they] can rewrite laws, repeal laws, sell assets, rewrite the lack elected quarters of the B city charter, privatize departments, break union contracts... T hree - This means that more than half officials in Michigan have been replaced by emergency managers.” (51 percent) of the state’s Black residents have fallen under the authority of a non elected official, - alongside 16.6 percent of Latinx during 2008 – 2013 , compared to 2.4 percent of the state’s White population. Flint was under emergency management when the city decided to switch its water source from the Detroit water system to the Flint River, a move that poisoned the city’s population of almost 99 ,000 people, approximately 54 percent Black and 40 percent White. Another two dozen state governments have suppressed democratic participation through preempt ion laws that remove the power of local elected officials . These laws can transfer power from officials representing Black and Brown voters to a majority White state electorate, to the detriment of broader numbers of the poor. Local ordinances such as nondiscrimination laws, across the country. guaranteed paid sick days, and nutritional restriction s have been struck down 28

33 25 states Currently, have laws that preempt cities from passing their own minimum wage laws, many cessful minimum wage campaigns. in response to suc Section II: Immigration The current U.S. administration has escalated racist, anti - immigrant policies by stripping protections for immigrants brought into this country as children, repeatedly attempting to ban immigration from Muslim countries, proposing a massive southern border wall, stepping up deportation raids in workplaces and other spaces frequented by Latinx people, and reducing admissions for individuals who had previously received refugee status. temic racism that permeates our immigration policies is not new. Since 1968, there And yet the sys has been a steady increase in federal spending aimed at keeping immigrants out of the country, the bulk of it focused on the U.S. - Mexico border. This has coincided with a dr amatic increase in the numbers of deportations since 1996, six million. about totaling shows, in 1976, the federal government spent $2 billion on border control and As Figure 1. 2 immigration enforcement (in today’s dollars) and deported or removed 31,000 people. By 2016, such spending had risen to almost nine times that much, with about 11 times as many deportations. In grants were removed or deported . 2016, 340,000 immi Meanwhile, the number of border patrol agents grew to 19,437 by 2017 , nearly five times as many as in 1992. Figure 1.2 compulsory movement of Sources: Office of Management and Budget; U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Deportations are the immigrants out of the United States based on an order of removal. 29

34 to 2013, Immigration detentions in prisons and jails have al so risen dramatically: from 1993 ncreased five fold from about 85 ,000 to about 44 1,000 per year. These immigration detentions i - detention centers have increasingly become sites of sexual and physical abuse: 11,379 complaints alleging sexual and/or physical abuse were filed between 2010 and 2016 with 1, 016 instances of More complaints were submitted against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sexual abuse. than any other Department of Homeland Security agency. LGBT immigrants are 15 times more likely than other detainees to experience sexual assault in confinement, and face disproportionately high tocol or policy recommendation. i de pro rates of discretionary detainment by ICE officials that overr In El Paso, Texas, this discretion is also taking form in a new practice of separating children from their family members and holding them in “child care centers,” even though children cannot legally be kept in detention. M igrant deaths have increased under border enhancement laws, as individuals are purposefully directed towards more dangerous migration corridors. And as the number of states implementing immigration laws has increased in the past decade, research has found that incidences of physical . s well and verbal abuse by enforcement officers have risen a Beyond Immigrant Rights: The Border Network for Human Rights Mexico border for nearly - colonias The Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) has been organizing in along the U.S. 0 families in West Texas and New twenty years. With a membership of more than 4,000 people, including over 70 BNHR has established deep relationships across multiple border communities, including with local border Mexico, enforcement. Out of this long engagement, families and loved ones are now able to meet with each other for a fe w short minutes on the U.S. - Mexico border in the Rio Grande river. This recognition of their humanity is one step towards As Executive Director Fernando Garcia explains e are not only an immigrant , “W BNHR’s broader vision of human rights. rights organizati on, we are a human rights organization that is fighting to change society for everybody.” Mexico “Throughout the 20th and 21st century, but specifically since the 1970s, public discourse has framed the U.S. - to an apparently orderly U.S. interior,” Garcia explains. “When the border as a place of lawlessness, in comparison border is portrayed as the opposite of lawful, it becomes especially criminal. This has justified the building of border - fences, border walls, the posting of thousands of agents, and the increased number of weapons and arms at the U.S. Mexico border...[but] over time, we have seen an expanded militarization into the United States. We saw the erience how to militarization of police departments in the interior. We saw that they learned out of the border exp militarize a police department and give them the tools to repress and persecute people in the interior of the United States...We know that we need to take up the decriminalization of immigrants and poor communities. We need to communities. And we need a democratic process that is accountable to our communities. None of demilitarize our these are unique to border communities. It is what we are all fighting for.” Meanwhile, child poverty rates among immigrants doubled from 1970 to 2000 , leaving 21.6 per cent have found that the impact of immigration of immigrant children impoverished. Researchers enforcement measures affects low - income children, leading to greater difficulty in affordin g basic expenses, paying rent, or paying for utilities. Children of immigrants fare worse in terms of health children with at least one unauthorized than children in hous eholds headed by U.S. citizens and 30

35 to public health parent suffer from increased rates of psychological distress, while having less access programs . - born immigrant workers experience disproportionately high rat Foreign dangerous working es of conditions , wage violations , and sexual harassment . These figures are often worse for women. A 2010 survey of 150 f armworker women in California — an industry predominantly employing f oreign - born immigrant workers found that 80 percent had experienced some form of sexual harassment , over — twice the national rate. Exploitative working conditions are largely caused by the structure of low - wage industries that immig rant workers are concentrated in, such as the prevalence of contractors, exemptions to minimum wage laws, unequal status for migrant workers, underfunded government enforcement, and low union membership. These industry characteristics have historically bee n enforced through - , with negative impacts for all low racist American labor and industry legislation wage workers in the U.S. Section III: Education Educational divides are another f actor in race - based gaps and crucial to understanding the connection between systemic racism and poverty. From 2000 to 2014, the U.S. Government where 75 to 100 percent of Accountability Office found that the percentage of K - 12 public schools - the students were Black or Hispanic and eligible for free or reduced price lunch (a commonly used Of all students attending high - poverty schools indicator of poverty) increased from 9 to 16 percent. in 2013, th e overwhelming majority were students of color. Compounding the challenges facing these not only by race and schools, the analysis found that Latinx students tend to be “triple segregated” — class, but also by language access. These schools disproportionatel y held students back in 9th grade and offered disproportionately fewer college preparatory, science, and math courses. Figure 1.3 . U.S. Government Accountability Office Source: 31

36 Since the original Poor People’s Campaign, an educational achievement gap has persisted between White and Black students, across age categories. While this gap has narrowed over time, still exists . it A similar gap exists between White students and Latinx students. - tolerance policies” in schools, out of school suspensions have risen by With the introduction of “zero 40 percent and these disproportionately target Black and other disempowered youth. Black girls are six times more likely than White girls to receive sus pensions. Black boys are three times more likely to receive suspensions than White boys. Black youth are 500 percent more likely an d Latinx youth a e 65 percent more likely to be detained or committed than their White counterparts, despite the r recent rise of alternatives t o juvenile detention . Figure 1.4 - . Data for Whites in 2015 is for non National Center for Education Statistics Hispanic Whites only. Data for Hispanics, Asians, Source: Pacific Islanders, American Indian and Alaska Natives not available for 1968. For higher education, figure 1. 4 shows that in 1968, White people in the 25 - 29 year age group were nearly three times as likely as Black people to have completed four or more ye ars of college. By 2015, the ratio had narrowed, but White people were still almost twice as likely as Black people and Pacific Islanders and almost three times as likely as Latinx and Native Americans to have this level of education. One major barrier t o higher education for many poor people of color is the rising cost. According to National Center for Education Statistics , the price tag for attending a four - year college i n 2015 the (including tuition, room and board, and fees) was $25,409 — 2.5 times as much as in 1968, adjusted for inflation. These costs have outpaced real median household income, requiring students and their families to spend a higher proportion of their budge ts towards the rising costs of education. , in 1990, average tuition and fees totaled 6.3 2018 study from the Levy Institute According to a percent of median household income and 17.6 percent when including room and board. By 2014, 32

37 average tuition and fees had more than doubled, totaling 15.9 percent of median household income; with room and board, costs rose to 34.7 percent. While U.S. colleges and universities have historically reproduced inequality in various forms, the rapid grow t h of high - cost, high - risk, for - profit colleges is particularly problematic . Black people, women, and especially low income women of color are disp roportionately enrolled in for - profit - institutions: among for - profit college students, 64 percent are women , 52 percent are people of color, 50 percent have dependent child ren, 51 percent work full - time while enrolled, and 59 percent are unlikely to receive tuition support from their family. At the same time, less expensive and higher are struggling after decades of declining public investment bly the , most nota quality institutions Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs.) To meet these costs, there has been a steep rise in student debt, which now affects about 44 million March 2017 Americans. As of As , aggregate student loan debt was $1.34 trillion in the United States. below e student loan balances can be - the January 2018 Levy Institute report concludes , “ Even averag problematic for low - income borrowers choosing between making on - time payments and other financial demands.” Black families, on average, than White families: 81 percent of Black people carry more loan debt attending public universities and 86 percent attending private universities take on debt, compared to 63 percent and 72 percent for White people. Among Latinx populations, 87 percent attending te universities also take on debt. priva Figure 1.5 33

38 Figure 1.6 Source: Demos , The Debt Divide Many of t hese costs and debt burdens are carried by women, especially women of color, who are also the most likely students to be raising children while pursuing a post - secondary degree. Nearly half - Black , followed by approximately two in women in college have dependent children 47 percent - of five Native American or Alaska Native women (41 percent) and Hawaiian or Pacific Islander women income, and the (39 percent). Among s ingle students with children, 88 percent are poor or low - average debt of student mothers one year after graduation is $3,800 higher than women without children and almost $5,000 higher than men without children. imination and Segregation Section IV: Housing Discr With the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the era of legalized housing discrimination was brought to an end. The law made it illegal to avoid renting or selling to people because of their race, among other categories. Des p ite the ban on housing discrimination, racism in the housing market continued to deliver unfair outcomes to people of color, especially poor people of color. This is in part due to the rising costs of housing. Over the past 30 years, rents have gone up fa ster than income in nearly every urban area in the country, while the median cost of a home has ballooned from $23,500 . In this context, households and individuals who also face discriminatory in 1968 to $323,000 in 2018 hiring, wage disparities and debt burdens are at a severe disadvantage. 34

39 Even among those households that can afford such housing costs, discrimination in the market continues to reduce access to affordable housing. An audit by the Department of Housing and Urban in 1977 found that Black Development (HUD) eing discriminated people had a 27 percent chance of b rental for sale . Through against on a visit to see a apartment and 15 percent on a visit to see a home subsequent audits in 1989, 2000, and the Department found that discrimination had greatly 2012 decreased against Black people since the 1970s, but still persisted. For example, Black homebuyers who contacted agents a bout homes were able to see about 18 percent fewer homes in 2012 than equally qualified White people. , combined with increasing rates of economic After 1968, “White flight” from cities to the suburbs cities segregation within inner resulted in continued segregation . While segregation has marginally , Displacement has driven many of eased in recent years, the process of gentrification has taken hold. the same poor Black and Brown minority communities that settled in the urban ghettos out of their A range of studies have found that “in - movers to gentrifying neighborhoods are neighborhoods. wealthier, Whiter and of higher educational attainment and out - ers, movers are more likely to be rent , and people of color.” Those that remain in gentrifying areas, typically located in urban cities poorer - and moderate - income households, that may have once boasted numerous housing options for low income buyers and renters. - geared toward higher are confronted with increasing housing costs Housing prices can climb even higher if the demand for housing exceeds the available supply. Either incomes less able to accommodate growing housing costs are finding it increasingly way, those with difficult to secure housing. In some rural communities in the South, basic housing infrastructure has not been updated in years, an Air Force veteran and native of Lowndes County, sometimes decades. As Catherine Flowers, Alabama, describes: "It's shocking to see that there hasn't been a big investment in terms of housing the since the 1960s and 1970s, maybe part of the early 1980s. Then it was through programs like Farmer s Home Administration, a rural housing program that gave people resources to develop housing. Instead what I've found is that in 2000, the USDA was sending money back to Washington. It wasn't spending its resources in those communities for infrastructure." Section V: Criminal Justice System Over the past 50 years, the criminal justice system has become a critical institutional anchor of retionary systemic racism. “Tough on crime” politics ha s led to skyrocketing annual federal disc spending on prisons — $7.5 and increased policing of 7, a tenfold increase over 1976 — billion in 201 increase in longer prison terms poor communities to fill them. The 1970s marked the beginning of an and a reduction in early releases. Since 1968, the number of sentenced inmates in U.S. state and 1,458,000 federal prison of all races grew from 187,914 in 1968 to in 2016. This is despite the fact that, in recent years, cam paigns against mass incarceration have effectively reduced the numbers of inmates from big cities . Today, the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, average. operation and Development (OECD) almost 5 times the Organization for Economic Co - 5 3

40 In 1978 (the first year for which racial demographics are available) people of color made up less than half of the prison population. By 2016, they compris 66 percent , a fivefold increase in total ed According to the , increasingly long sentences, mandatory minimums, and numbers. Urban Institute three - strikes policies have all had a disproportionate impact on people of color. Black men born in are almost six times more likely to be incarcerated in their lifetimes as White men born in the 2001 while Native American women are currently admitted to prison at same year, the rate of six times White women. Figure 1.7 lation by race U.S. federal and state prison popu Hispanic), Hispanic), and Hispanic. “Other” - (non Source: U.S. Department of Justice. The 2016 data were collected for White (non - Black re races. includes American Indians and Alaska Natives; Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders; and persons of two or mo , and “other,” which included American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians, and Pacific were collected for: White , The 1978 data Black Islanders). Hispanic ethnicity of inmates was not determined in 1978, a year in which people of Spanish descent made up 5 percent of the total population. Women held in local jails are the fastest growing segment of incarcerated people in the United States, - and the majority of them are Black or Latinx, according to a 2017 study by the MacArthur Foundation and the Vera Institute of Justice. From 1970 to 2014, the total female jail population increased fourte en - f old from under 8,000 to nearly 110,000. More than 80 percent of these women were - for non violent offenses. imprisoned 36

41 Rural and Urban Incarceration Since 1970 there has been a shift in rural and urban incarceration trends. As reported by the Vera I nstitute in 2017, counties with fewer than 250,000 people drove jail growth between 1970 and 2013. This may be due to a national increase in pretrial detention that, especially in the past decade, has been concentrated in rural counties: while national pre trial detention rates have increased by 68 percent, the rate for rural counties increased by 436 percent during this same period. These trends may reflect the limited resources in rural counties, contributing to the financial incentives to grow jails. Ac cording to the Vera Institute, “Demands from other systems — overcrowded federal and state prison systems, — expanding need for neighboring county jails, and the federal immigration detention system - have propelled an ever additional income streams through per - diem payments for each person they board jail beds, providing counties with strapped rural jurisdictions, in from other systems. Such payments...can add up to substantial revenue for cash - because many out - of - county boarders often stay for long periods of time. This is especially true for people who are year state sentences, or undocumented immigrants who are fighting deportation orders and awaiting serving multi - - formal adjudication in an overworked and under resourced immigration court system.” Racial sentencing disparities worsen the impact of the criminal justice system on poor communities the NAACP , for example, while Black and White people use drugs at similar of color. According to rates, the imprisonment rate of Black people for drug charges is almost six times that of White people. sers, they make up nearly And even though Black people represent just 12.5 percent of illicit drug u 30 percent of those arrested for drug offenses. Similarly, Black men receive sentences 19 percent longer than White men for the same crimes, according to the United States Sentencing Commission , and are disproportionately targeted for capital punishment . Returning citi zens face major difficulties upon their release from prison, especially as some states ban those with felony convictions from access to social assi stance, voting rights, and work licenses. reintegration contribute to social and economic marginalization of people who were Barriers to The requirement to state felony formerly incarcerated, their families, and their communities. convictions on job applic According ations also present a barrier to reintegration into the economy. $179,000 they would have earned earns , the typical former inmate Pew to if they less by age 48 than had never been incarcerated. Incarceration depresses the wages of Black men 9 percent, of Latinx men 6 percent, and of White men 2 percent. Durell Gilmore, an organizer with Sunflower Community Action in Kan sas, testified to these conditions: “I $7 out of every $10 on juvenile services resources to incarcerate am from Kansas, where they spend young peop le, with clear racial bias in sentencing and detainment. When I was 20 years old, I was handed down a heavy sentence for my first criminal offense, with the threat of spending 7 years in obation. This has haunted me. It prison. I pleaded out to a severe felony charge and three years on pr has made it difficult to work and live and be the kind of father I desperately want to be to my children. 37

42 My probation officer told me that instead of going to college full time, it was a condition of my probation to work 4 0 hours a week. So now I work more than one job and dropped out of college.” - year sentence. His White male cohorts were given Durell’s cousin, Reggie, is serving out a 40 sentences of five years and are awaiting release after serving two years of that se After being ntence. beaten, shot in the back and left to bleed out on the ground, Reggie was kicked repeatedly by Wichita police officers until his lungs collapsed. He spent two years in solitary confinement. Durell describes him as “a mere shadow of his f ormer self. There is no justice in this criminal system.” From Deindustrialization to Mass Incarceration in Los Angeles Luis Rodriguez has been educating and working in South Central and East Los Angeles with poor and incarcerated years. He grew up amid the Watts Uprising in 1965 and joined his first gang at the age of 11. He 50 youth for the past used his position as the Poet Laureate of L.A. to raise awareness around incarceration, poverty, and racism. He is also ’s founder of the Tia Chucha - Cul tural Center in the San Fernando Valley, the only cultural hub for the poor, the co especially poor youth, in the region. Luis describes the widespread impact of systemic racism in L.A.: “[Los Angeles] brought a lot of poor people, particularly in South Central L.A. and East L.A., together. These areas were created by Black and Brown labor brought in to work in the [steel mills, garment factories, auto plants, aerospace and defense] industries. Restrictive covenants in the 1930s and 1940s kept us in our own barr ios. They kept the poor impoverished. Watts was born out of this, and most of South Central, most of Boyle Heights, most of East L.A. was created that way. Then deindustrialization hit LA -- very hard -- it lost 300 factories by 1984 and the most impacted com munities were ours: South Central, Watts, East L.A. At the same time, the crack epidemic began. L.A. soon became the gang capital of the world. From 1980 to 2000, up to 15,000 young people were killed in the streets of L.A. due to the so called gang wars a nd drug wars — Bloods, - Crips, the large Mexican gangs that are now known around the country — were actually created by a system of poverty. Mass incarceration quickly followed. Today, California has the largest prison system in the country, upwards of 170, 000 people are imprisoned and 75 - 80 percent are Black and Brown, even though Black and Brown people only make up 40 percent of the population.” It is important to note also that the policing of poor communities and communities of color continues to be f atal, as local police departments have become militarized and equipped with weapons from years after the “Orangeburg Massacre,” where police officers who killed three Black 50 our wars. students were acquitted, young Black males remain nine times more likely to be killed by polic e officers than other Americans. Likewise, rates of police killings for Native American and Latinx men rarely higher relative to White men. The shooters are in these killin g s have disproportionately been convicted . 38

43 ontrol Revamped Surveillance and Social C Surveillance and social control has also evolved since the 1960s and 1970s. The COINTELPRO FBI program, which included the wiretapping of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s phones, monitored the lives of thousands and in many cases attempted to destroy organizations on national security grounds. While operations under the official COINTELPRO program ended in 1971, its tactics have evolved through various federal, state, and local initiatives. For example, the New York Police Department has engaged in a process of monitoring Muslim communities, religiou s institutions, student groups, poor people’s organizations, and others since . at least 2002 In the 1990s, Broken Windows policing gained prominence, arguing that minor crimes were cause for interdiction and arrest, allegedly in order to prevent major incidents. However, the programs served as a thinly veiled pretext for harassing and imprisoning members of Black and Brown communities. For instance, in 2013, a Feder al judge found that New York’s police department unconstitutionally targeted communities of color through its “Stop and Frisk” program. At the height of the program, in 2011, police made 685, , of which 53 percent were of Black people 724 stops and 34 percent were of Latinx people. income, and Black and Brown communities has expanded with the use of new - Surveillance of Muslim, immigrant, low urity’s Special Registration program required over 80,000 technologies. In 2003, the Department of Homeland Sec Muslim men to present themselves for fingerprinting, eye scans, and questioning. The 2001 U.S.A. PATRIOT Act clause ze actions like donating money to against the “material support” of terrorism has been used to selectively criminali specific charities, attending events, and otherwise lawful activities. Meanwhile, the enlistment of state and local policing agencies in immigration enforcement amid stepped up deportations further forced immigrants underg round. 39

44 POVERTY AND INEQUALITY The real violence in America is starvation, unemployment, slum housing and poor education. — Coretta Scott King, 1968 st In the economy of the 21 century, only a tiny percentage of the population is immune from the possibility that they could fall into poverty as a result of bad breaks beyond their own control. The American Dream is quickly becoming the American Illusion. Philip Alston, U.N. Sp ecial Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, 2017 -- 40

45 - At the time of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, many in the U.S. were still experiencing the post war economic boom that, coupled with a wave of social movement organizing, resulted in real gains in wages and living conditions. As a result of popular struggle and especially the Civil Rights , and the war on Movement, the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Immigration and Nationality Act p overty programs, public attention and resources were direct ed towards civil rights , education, employment, health care, social security , and food security. Although racial, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and geographic disparities remained, — these social programs — and the people, movements and org ani zations that fought for them ensured that the gains from an expanding economy were more widely distributed than they ems of oppression created by white s upremacy, patriarchy , and otherwise would have been. The syst been dismantled, but the days of Jim Crow that suppressed so many had not yet other structures seemed behind and hard - won gains in the arenas of civil rights and economic equality poised to continue. However, since that time there has been a reversal of many of those gains. Beginning in the 1970 s, like 80 percent have largely remained stagnant, while the costs of basic needs wages for the bottom and gas have risen. Domestic labor markets entered into a global “race to housing, health care, food , the bottom.” The quantity and quality of jobs in th is country began a steady decline. Deindustrialization spread, the Midwest and parts of the South and West coast most deeply hitting that were industrial centers of the economy in earlier decades. During the next 30 years, the U . S . economy became increasi ngly polarized. We have witnessed the historic destruction of the former middle class. Public goods like education, health care, and water were privatized. Even as assistance programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Earned Income Tax C redit were added to the safety net, the critical cash assistance program was effectively dismantled when it became block granted to the states by so - called “welfare reform” legislation in the mid - 1990s. Attacks on the safety net were often achieved using r acist appeals, by both Democratic and Republican parties alike. Financial deregulation allowed banks to engage in increasingly speculative investments and led to the housing bubble and financial crisis of 2007 - 2008. In the “Great Recession” years that fo llowed, there were sustained attacks on the New Deal and Great Society programs and an ideological shift away from government accountability for the general welfare. Walmart emerged as the single largest employer in the country and emblematic of the wideni ng inequality: its shelves are stocked with goods produced by exploited workers in poor countries, its U.S. workers represent the single largest group of food stamp recipients, and the six members of the Walton family own as much wealth as nearly 43 percent of American families. the poor, acial wealth gaps have widened and patterns of gentrification push ed During these years, r especially poor people of color in urban centers, further away from jobs, transportation, education and other services. The percentage of people living in deep or extreme poverty has increased since of people living in poverty had incomes less than half of the poverty line. 46 percent , 1975. By 2016 41

46 d were left Women, children, and LGBTQ populations continue to fall into poverty. Rural economies behi nd. This chapter will take a closer look at these conditions and at how poverty has changed over the last 50 years. Section I: What Does it Mean to Be Poor In the United States? The 1968 Poor People’s Campaign was launched four years after President Ly ndon Johnson declared a “war on poverty.” years later, there is good and bad news in the struggle to eradicate poverty. 50 The good news is that federal “social safety net” programs have proven effective in reduc ing poverty overall. In 2012, for instance, g overnment programs providing nutrition and early education assistance, health coverage, access to affordable housing, employment and income supports, the child cut the poverty rate support program, and refundable tax credits half of what it would have been to with out such programs. In fact, t he effectiveness of the social safety net in 2012 was 10 times that of what i t was in 1967. The bad news is that poverty still plagues the multiracial population of poor people. The official 12.7 percent nearly all of that in 2016, but poverty rate for all Americans was 19 percent in 19 64 and reduction in the years following the introduction of War o n Poverty programs. Compared to came official poverty rate is virtually unchanged. And because our population has grown by 1968, today’s more than 122 million people in these years, this means that there are 15 million more poor people ay than there were 50 years ago tod . Further, “deep poverty,” defined as having income below half the federal poverty level, has 3.7 percent in 1975 (earliest available) to 5.8 percent in 2016 . risen from Measuring Poverty uses two primary means of measuring poverty: the Official Poverty Measure (OPM) and the The U.S. Census Bureau - based standard that uses the Federal Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). The Official Po verty Measure is an income Poverty Line (FPL) to define poverty. The for 2016 quantifies poverty for a single person younger than age 65 as FPL having an annual income of $12,486 or less. For a single person above 65, it is $11,511, and fo r a household of two adults and two children it is $24,339. By the Official Poverty Measure (OPM), more than 95 million Americans (nearly 30 percent of the total population) are either in poverty or considered “low - income” (living below twice the poverty 140 million people (43.5 percent) line). That number rises to , which takes into account federal when using the SPM assistance resources, such as refundable tax credits, as well as critical out - of - pocket expenses for food, clothing, housing, and utilities. It also takes into account geographic differences in costs of living. Due to the availability of data, for most of the statistics used in this section, this report uses the OPM. However, where possible, the SPM is used to help illustrate the broader extent of economic hardship people are facing and to show how effective the safety net has been in keeping people from falling below the federal poverty line. 42

47 Section II: Who Is Poor in the U.S.? Poverty touches every demographic of our society. There were 40.6 million poor people in the United 42.5 percent of the poor (17.2 million). The next two largest States in 2016. White people made up groups were Latinx at 27.4 percent (11.1 million) and Black people a t 22.7 percent (9.2 million) of those in poverty. Asian Americans made up 4.7 percent (1.9 million) of the nation’s poor. People of color are disproportionately impacted by poverty. In terms of examining poverty rates ns and Alaskan Natives have the highest rate of poverty, at 26.2 within racial groups, Native America Black people percent. have the second highest intraracial poverty rate, at 22 percent. This is followed by Latinx people (19.4 percent), White people (11 percent), and Asian Americans (10.1 percent). For the nation as a whole, the poverty rate using the OPM was 12.7 percent and using the SPM was 14.0 percent. Figure 2.1 . American Community Survey Data for American Indian and Alaska Native population is from the Source: U.S. Census Bureau. in 2016, he vast majority of poor people , almost 62 percent T were adults between the age of 18 and the nation’s poor in 2016 (or 13.3 million 64. Children below the age of 18 made up 23 percent of people). Children tend to be disproportionately represented among the poor as compared to adults: all children in one in five children is poor in the U.S. versus one in eight adults. Eighteen percent of and just a the U.S. under the age of 18 are poor s many live in food - insecure households. If using the of children were poor in 2016. SPM, 15.2 percent 43

48 Figure 2.2 Source: U.S. Census Bureau According to calculations by t he Urban Institute using data derived from the Panel Study on Income Dynamics between 1968 and 2009, almost four in 10 children spend at least one year of their lives in poverty before they turn 18. spent 2016 in poverty were dispropor tionately children of than 13 million children who The more that poverty affected color. Analysis from Economic Policy Institute showed 33.8 percent of Native Americ an children , 30.8 percent of Black children, and 26.6 percent of Latinx children in 2016. The poverty rate for White children was 10.8 percent. More than 25 percent of immigrant children experienced poverty in 2016. While the SPM for children in poverty in 2016 is 15.2 percent — 2.8 percent lower than the OPM — the SPM for children living between 100 to 200 percent of the poverty threshold is 36.7 percent, significantly higher than the OPM of 21 percent. This means that according to the SPM, 51.9 percent - income. of children are poor or low Poverty rates for women are higher than those for men in all age groups. In 2016, 13.4 percent of women aged 18 - 64 (representing 13.4 million women) were living below the poverty line , compared to just 9.7 Households led by single women percent of adult men in this age group (9.4 million men). with children in 2016 had a poverty rate of , according to calculations from the National 35.6 percent Women’s Law Center, which was more than twice th e 17.3 percent rate for households led by single men with children. Poverty was a particularly acute problem for women of color: t he National Women's Law Center determined that 21.4 percent of Black women, 18.7 percent of Latinx women, and 22.8 percent of he poor in 2016. Slightly more than 16 percent of immigrant Native American women were among t hite women (9.7 percent) lived in poverty in 2016. W women lived in poverty. Almost ten percent of 44

49 Adult women with disabilities experienced a poverty rate that was more than twice that for adult w omen without disabilities (30.7 percent versus 12 percent). Figure 2.3 Source: U.S. Census Bureau Households led by single mothers comprised almost 30 percent of families in 2016 with incomes below the poverty line for the past twelve months. Poverty rates for families headed by Black women and for families headed by Latinx women were , respectively, in 2016. 38.8 percent and 40.8 percent The poverty rate for families led by Native American women was 42.6 percent. Almost 42 percent of families headed by immigrant women experienced poverty in 2016. Although it was lower compared to that of families led by women of colo r, the poverty rate in 2016 for families led by White women was 30.2 percent. Members of the LGBTQ communities are disproportionately represented among the poor as well. Using data from the 2006 to 2010 National Survey of Family Growth, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law calculated that 25.9 percent of bisexual men and 20.5 percent of gay men Similarly, 29.4 percent of o 15.3 percent of heterosexual men. t experienced poverty, compared bisexual women and 22.7 percent of gay women lived in poverty, while 21.1 percent of heterosexual women did so. Transgender Survey found that transgender The National Center for Transgender Equality’s 2015 rate double than that of the general population, with transgender people experience poverty at a nx, 41 people of color experiencing even higher rates. Of the survey’s respondents, 43 percent of Lati percent of Native American, 40 percent of multiracial and 38 percent of Black transgender respondents lived in poverty in 2015. Further, over half of transgender people with disabilities and transgender people living with HIV lived in poverty in 201 5. Areas with concentrated poverty living within a defined by a high percentage of poor people — pose a unique set of issues, geographic area, usually 40 percent or more within a given Census tract — as essential resources such as access to quality healthcare, education, and public amenities are often tied to the wealth of neighborhoods. Overall, American neighborhoods have significantly increased 45

50 in economic segregation since 1970, with the number of families living in high - poverty or high - affluent neighborhoods doubling from 15 to 34 per cent by 2012. The percentage of White people in poverty living in high - poverty neighborhoods has increased throughout this time, although Black - their White counterparts to live in high as poverty people in poverty are more than twice as likely neighborhoods. While these trends are present across the country , concentrated poverty has particularly increased in the southern region of the United States (Figures 2.4 and 2.5). Figure 2.4 Figure 2.5 46

51 Rural poverty is persistently tha n urban poverty in the U.S. In 2015, the rate of poverty in rural worse In the 1980s, areas was 16.7 percent compared to 13 percent in cities and 10.8 percent in suburbs. unemployment was worse in cities than rural areas. Unemployment has become a greater problem today in rural communitie s. R ural workers are poorer than urban workers, and nearly one - third of them live in deep poverty. Nearly 20 percent of rural workers live in households earning below 150 percent of the poverty level compared to 13.5 percent of urban workers with th income levels . e same Rural communities also often struggle with a lack of access to technology infrastructure. Among rural residents, 27.4 percent do not have access to 25 Mbps broadband , compared to 0.6 percent of city residents . This disparity is primarily produced by market dynamics, as co mpanies cannot justify building telecommunications infrastructure in low - density areas due to lower profits. Access to digital broadband is also shaped by income, as broadband service in America is relatively more 1.4 percent of households 3 whose expensive compared to other countries. As a result of these factors, annual speed internet - incomes fall below $50,000 and with children ages 6 to 17 do not have a high connection at home. This digital divide puts children at an educational disadvantage, while adults' ability to access essential information, such as job opportunities or significantly restricting social services. Section III: The Safety Net and Welfare Reform While spending on federal public programs has grown, between 1970 and 2010 nearly all of the growth in federal social safety net spending came from “social insurance” programs, such as Social and disability insurance (see Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation , — r otherwise F igure 2.6). Benefits based on recipients’ income that are aimed at assisting the poo nown as “means tested” programs — have grown less rapidly, especially once Medicaid is k discounted. This shift has meant that in 2014, a family of four earning $11,925 per year likely received less aid than a family of four earning $47,700 . Programs that had been effective at reducing poverty were scaled back and, as the mechanism of funding changed through issuing block g rants to states, fewer resources made their way to poor families. The impact of these changes extended beyond solely welfare recipients. Former beneficiaries of AFDC were pushed into the labor market , forming a section of the working poor. The reshaping of the economy, described in Section IV of this chapter, produced punishing results for this new segment of workers who faced lower unionization rates, low or absent wage growth, and increasingly concentrated political and economic power in the hands of their employers. 47

52 Every Mother is a The Impact of Workfare and Welfare Reform: Margaret Prescod, Working Mother Network Margaret Prescod has been involved with the National Welfare Rights Organization and state - based welfare rights organizations for the past four decades, including during the debate over workfare programs introduced in the 1990s. As is a Working Mother Network in California, she continues in the struggle for poor mothers part of Every Mother and families. “Workfare was upsetting on several fronts, but mainly it separated the poverty of children from the poverty of mothers. Since the passage of welfare reform, we’ve seen a devastation in our communities...[when] I was working as a young teacher in Brownsvill e, it was the mothers on welfare who had the time to come down to the school to make sure their children were learning, to make sure there was free breakfast. The image of welfare mothers as lazy e truth. With welfare reform, these mothers went into scroungers doing nothing all day couldn’t be farther from th workfare and that whole sector of mothers in low - income communities who were in so many ways the glue, fighting s the key to eliminating for their kids, they were withdrawn from that role...but eliminating the poverty of women i the poverty of children. ...What increasingly happened [with welfare reform] was that monies that would previously go to mothers on AFDC, and therefore to families headed by single mothers, got sucked into child welfare agencies and states were using those resources for child custod y, foster care, and adoption services. Instead of going to support mothers with their housing or other basic needs, children are being taken away and placed in foster care, or are up for adoption, not because they re poor. are abused or neglected but because they a The fact is that mothers on welfare or even single mothers are viewed as outside the sphere of production in the U.S. So you only focus on people who are considered “productive.” But studies have shown that there is considerable economic value to unwaged, caregiving work...and when welfare goes up, it pushes up the minimum wage. When welfare is cut, you have all these people who are like free labor that can undermine labor unions. This relationship at the point of production has not been between our rights as mothers to welfare and the impact on workers appreciated.” 48

53 Figure 2.6 Source: Various administrative sources. Originally published by Robert Moffitt in Recession and the Social Safety Net and The The Great . . Deserving Poor, the Family, and the U.S. Welfare System Total expenditure includes state and federal funds - By far the greatest reduc tion in federal spending for low income families came with the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996, which eliminated Aid for Needy (AFDC) and replaced it with Temporary Assistance to Families with Dependent Children Families (TANF). TANF drastically reduced resources available to families in poverty and imposed ents (F igure 12.7). Under Aid to Families with Dependent Children , in unrealistic work requirem 1996, 68 percent of families with children living in poverty were aided by the program, compared of poor families that TANF reaches today. In all but three states, TANF benefits with the 23 percent with monthly benefits in all states and the District of have declined since 1996 in real value, 50 . Columbia at or below two - thirds of the federal poverty line 49

54 Figure 2.7 Source: Various administrative sources. Originally published by Robert Moffitt in The Great Recession and the Social Safety Net The and Deserving Poor, the Family, and the U.S. Welfare System . Women and Children Take the Lead: The National Welfare Rights Organization The National Welfare Rights Organization was founded in 1966 to organize for adequate income, dignity, justice, and democratic participation. It brought together smaller organizations of welfare recipients and its members were mainly en who were fighting for the right to welfare. women and their childr Women from the welfare rights movement took up prominent leadership in the 1968 Campaign, including informing Dr. King and others on critical issues around welfare legislation. Michigan Welfare Rights Organi zation (MWRO) was one of the founding members of the NWRO and several of its current leaders keep that legacy alive today. Sylvia Orduño is among a new generation of MWRO activists and describes how welfare reform impacted welfare the 1960s and 1970s, recipients receiving public assistance weren’t burdened with workfare rights organizing: “In requirements in order to maintain their benefits. Welfare rights chapters and other grassroots groups were able to get people to do paid work in the community and th e office, and to learn how to talk to and mobilize others around their right to a decent quality of life. Today, with federal TANF time limits, funding changes, and program shifts to the states, plus other cuts (many adults are too young for social securit y benefits and too old or ill for fast - moving assembly line or retail work, which requires long hours on your feet) welfare rights organizing is in crisis...There used to be over 500 welfare rights chapters and affiliated groups. Now, there are less than two dozen.” MWRO continues the fight today for welfare benefits, the right to water and keeping families together. 50

55 Three of the most notable federal programs that work well for poor families are the Supplemental ; ” the Earned Income Tax Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previ ously known as “food stamps - Credit (EITC); and the Child Tax Credit. SNAP remains one of the most effective means tested government assistance programs that reaches most families experiencing financial hardship. Its benefits also ri se to meet difficult financial times. In 2016, SNAP benefitted about 20 million children according a month, to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. A r ecent Urban Institute report f ound that the anti - poverty effects of SNAP are even higher than previously estimated . By correcting for underreporting of benef its , the Institute found that the program reduced the number of people , the living in poverty by 17 percent, or in 2015. Among families with Black children , 8.4 million reduction was 21 percent . In 2015, t he Earned Income Tax Cr edit, EITC, effectively lifted about 6.5 million people above the federal poverty line, half of whom were children. Another 21 million people living in p overty benefited from the credit, further reducing the effects of poverty. In addition to keeping families out of poverty and increasing food security, these benefits form the A crucial foundation for better economic and physical health. ording to the Center on Budget and cc Policy Priorities, the poverty rate by nearly half when measured reduces the federal social safety net but many assistanc e programs aimed at poor families continue to hold an unwarranted by the SPM, reputation for being ineffective. Criminalizing Public Benefits There have long existed assumptions that people who are in need of public assistance have character flaws such as laziness and lack of a moral compass that have made them poor. This myth has nowhere been more vicious than when cast upon Black female heads of household. From the Moynihan Report Clinton’s 1996 in 1965, to Ronald Reagan’s racist depiction of the mythical “welfare queen,” to welfare reform and present day calls testing in order to receive public benefits, - for mandatory drug have been demonized and treated like poor heads of families especially single mothers — — recalcitrant children in need of character - building. However, what the false picture of the “welfare queen” covers up are the underlying factor s that create and perpetuate economic need among the poor. S uch factors include poor jobs and low wages, lack of affordable and safe child care, a segregated educational system that adversely affects poor students, particularly those of color, the impact of the criminal justice system on the poor, especially on poo r people of color, and overall, the system of white supremacy that divides and oppresses the poor. n of Poverty Not a Crime to be Poor: The Criminalizatio As Peter Edelman writes in his recent book, , “Welfare reform joined mass incarceration as a way to do racial politics [...] jail for the in America 51

56 men and ending welfare for women and children.” The constant and increasing policing of poor people serve as a mechanism for social control are finger - printed, run . Public assistance applicants - tested, background checked, spot house through a database search for outstanding warrants, urine hecked, and more. Police even rely on these social service records to criminalize poor people when c they are stopped for traffic violations or municipal code violations. Margaret Prescod from Every Mother is a Working Mother Network describes the injustic e of these characterizations: “The majority of welfare recipients are White, not Black, but every time a politician wants to cut welfare, they bring up the myth of the Black welfare queen. The welfare rights movement was a multiracial movement. It still is today.” Marian Kramer from NRWO and MWRO recalls organizing the diverse population of welfare recipients forty years ago: “Back in the 1970s, workers who were laid off had to line up for food stamps. The United Auto Workers called us to come out and help them get their members on food stamps. We went out to Wayne County Community College and trained some 300 people how to get their welfare bene fits – this was a multiracial group that was mainly men! And then a week after that training, the s heriff’s d epartment called me...They had put my information up on their bulletin board because so many of their deputies needed welfare. These were, again, people of different ethnic people who had boats, cars, trucks, all that stuff, but now they weren’t bei , groups ng paid because of a struggle between the county and the state. One deputy called me and said, ‘I’m down here [at the welfare office], they’ve turned me down twice. I have children to feed and this time I brought my pistol. Do you think that will help?’ I told him to stand down, and let me take over.” 9 This diversity remains true today. In 2011, Owsley County, Kentucky, which is 4.9 percent White , had among the highest recipient rates for food stamps in the U.S. 52 percent of residents received benefits are slashed, this county, too, will face hardship. food stamps . If Why Are We Poor? Section IV: Growing Divide Between Rich and Poor - fold, but the rising tide did not lift all Between 1968 and 2016, U.S. GDP grew more than eighteen boats. The top 1 percent's share of national income has nearly doubled while the official poverty rate for all U.S. families has merely inched up and down. Despite the country’s economic growth, poverty persisted and in many places deepened. The extreme concentration of income and wealth at the top has not only siphoned resources away from those at the bot tom end. It has also increased - the political power of the ultra rich, which they’ve used to shape trade, tax, labor, health care, campaign finance, and other policies in their interest. 52

57 Figure 2.8 Sources: Institute for Policy Studies analysis base d on Thomas Piketty and U.S. Census. e changing character of the job market. A key factor in the growing economic divide in the U.S. is th Although the country is experiencing low levels of unemployment, low wage work that features little job security has shaped the rise in employment in the past few decades. Over 2.9 million workers are currently employed in temporary help services, approximately doubl e the share of the total workforce employed by such agencies in $3.40 an hour 1990. Median pay for temp workers is about less than comparable direct - that health and safety conditions are work, and there i s evidence hire made up wage industries - a significantly worse. More broadly, p rivate sector employment in low disproportionate share in the first years of recovery after the 2008 crash. Between 2010 of job gains and 2014 , 44 percent of new jobs gained were in th ese industries, compared to 26 percent of job growth in mid - wage industries. Such changes to the U.S. e conomy indicate a larger pattern of inequality that has emerged since the early 1970s. Economic policies that promoted industrial expansion, full employment, and an increased standard of living through empowered labor unions fell out of favor, and were exchanged for policies promoting geopolitical interests, corporate profits, and tax cuts for the wealthy. As a result, regions that were once prominent centers of industrial produ ction have since experienced unemployment, jobless economic recoveries, and wage decline. Racial disparities remain as well. Since 1968, the Black unemployment rate has persistently run about twice as high as the rate for White people. The unemployment rate, however, only counts those who are actively seeking work, leaving out those who have given up finding a job and those who are time employment. Using a broader, more accurate measure working part - time and would prefer full - , the figures are even worse. Native American and Latinx populations fare only of underemployment slightly better. 53

58 , labor force participation Further, among all working age Americans rates remain lower today than seen in Figure , participation rates have dropped from 67.3 they were before the 2008 crisis. As 2.9 62.7 percent in January 2018. Native Americans percent in 2000 to are an exception, but their participation rates are still lower than other rac ial groups . Figure 2.9 2017 Labor Force Statistics from the - Statistics . Data for American Indian Source: Bureau of Labor Current Population Survey (SIC) . 2016 and Alaska Native population is from the . American Community Survey Dr. William Darity from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy describes these changes in employment: "During the trial of the Gr eat Recession, the ratio of people seeking work to the number of new job openings was approximately 7 to 1. It's far better today at 1.1 to 1, but that still means that we have a shortfall in excess of about 100,000 people who are seeking work relative to the number of jobs that are available in a given year...This is not just a question of the absence of quantity of work, but it’s also a question of quality of work. Indeed, close to half the individuals who are homeless in obs: the problem is the jobs pay very poorly. And we are now paying the United States actually have j — that is to say jobs in which the individual has greater attention to the notion of precarity of work uncertain hours, fluctuations in payment, fluctuations in knowing exactly when they’ll have work assignments, and the like...The absence of a sufficient number of jobs and the absence of high quality work opportunities creates toxic conditions that lead groups that have an insider position to fight to preserve their turf. This is the materi al basis for discrimination...against veterans, individuals who have some form of disability, individuals who have been previously exposed to unemployment, and nation directed against African Americans in the U.S." racial discrimi 54

59 Young men of color have l ong suffered from lower earnings and higher unemployment rates than young W 24 year As reported by the Urban Institute in 2015 , Black and Latinx men in the 20 - hite men. n improvement in unemployment rates between the early 1980s to late age group experienced a 1990s, but between 2000 and 2015, their employment rates and earnings declined once again. their jobs are more likely to remain out of work for extended periods of time. Black people who lose Accordi term - ng to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Black people made up 26 percent of the long unemployed in 2017 (out of work for 27 weeks or more), while making up only about 12.5 percent labor force. of the American These structural changes to the labor market have been by anti - union policies like accompanied “right to work” laws in 28 states as of 20 17 that have further undermined workers’ power to bargain collectively. Between 1968 and 2017, the share of U.S. workers in unions fell from 24.9 percent to 10.7 percent. Figure 2. 10 Source: Economic Policy Institute One clear sign of labor’s declining power is the sharp disconnect between wages and productivity. At the time of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, productivity and wages had been rising in tandem for at least two decades. But beginning in the 1970s, employers no longer shared the be nefits of improved productivity with their workers. Between 1973 and 2016, hourly compensation increased just 12.3 percent, while productivity increased 73.7 percent. 55

60 1 Figure 2.1 Source: Economic Policy Institute In fact, U.S. wages, despite a small upt ick in the last quarter of 2017, have been stagnating for more than three decades. While pay at the top has increased, typical American workers and the nation’s lowest wage workers have seen little or no growth in their real weekly wages. According to Oxfa m - and the Economic Policy Institute, around 58.3 million U.S. workers are earning below the living wage of $15 per hour. An Economic Policy Institute study shows Black men make 22 percent less and Black women make 34.2 percent less than White men in the same circumstances. Median wages for certain Asian and other groups like Bangladeshis, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and Hmong also Los Angeles . lag behind Whites, according to Asian Americans Advancing Justice - A Low Wage Economy Prompts Low - Wage Organizing - The Fight for $15 began in 2012 when 200 workers walked off their jobs in New York City to demand wages of $15 an hour and union rights. As a campaign of the Service Employees International Union, it now has chapters in more than 300 c ities and six countries. After trying a few different tactics, the Fight for $15 organized a concerted campaign against McDonald’s. This was both an attempt to revive the strike to create a disruptive movement and to force a conversation around wages and union rights. McDonald’s is the second largest employer in the - - largest private employer in the world and the second United States behind Walmart. The campaign against McDonald’s was as much about this specific employer as it was about how the economy had been transformed into a low - wage economy and how this was tied to the decline of worker organizing and the power of working people in this country. The Fight for $15 has also established a strong southern contingent, Raise Up for $15, which tackles the c hallenges of wage workers across race in the southern United States. Black workers are overrepresented in low - organizing low - wage industries in the south, yet 51 percent of fast food workers in the region are White. 56

61 One of the fastest growing occupations, particularly for women and people of color, has been in restaurant service. The subminimum wage for tipped workers has been stuck at just $2.13 per hour for more than 20 years, creating high levels of economic insecurity for these workers. Figure 2.1 2 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistic s Debt - strapped families and governments With wages stagnating, college costs increasing, and affordable housing evaporating, millions of American families w ere living “underwater” in 2016 — meaning they have no wealth or their debts 19 percent of U.S. households are larger than their assets. Excluding the value of the family car, (23.9 households) have zero or negative net worth. Thirty percent of Black households and 27 million percent of Latin x households have zero or negative wealth, compared to 14 percent of White households. es to help them get through Families face enormous stress when they have no financial reserv and middle - income families who difficulties such as job loss, illness, divorce, or car trouble. Even low - — at their disposal. do have some wealth often do not have any liquid assets — cash or savings According to a new report by Prosperity Now , nearly four in 10 households (117 million people) have onths in the event that a job level income for three m not saved enough to pay themselves a poverty - loss or other emergency leaves them without any income. Meanwhile, the concentration of wealth at the top has become more extreme than ever. According to the Institute for Policy Studies , the 400 wealthiest Americans now own more wealth than the bottom 64 percent of the U.S. population (or 57

62 White and include only two Black and 204 million people). These 400 wealthiest are predominantly x five people with Latin backgrounds. The rich don’t just have more wealth than everyone else. The bulk of thei r wealth comes from different — and m ore lucrative — asset sources. America’s top 1 percent, for instance, holds more than half the national wealth invested in stocks and mutual funds, while the top 10 percent hold 93.2 a reliable percent of those assets. This means that while the stock market may be booming, it is not measure of how the economy is faring for most people in this country. The bottom 90 percent hold most of their wealth in housing, the asset category that took the biggest hit during the Great Recession. This bottom 90 percent of Americans also hold more than 70 percent of debt in this country, explaining the phenomenon of living “under water. ” Figure 2.1 3 - Source: Household Wealth Trends in the United States, 1962 2016 major ro le in creating — and Throughout our country’s history, the financial industry has played a — economic distress. Racially discriminatory “redlining” in lending, which confines people exploiting - starved, segregated neighborhoods, was rampant before the 1968 Civil Rights of color to investment Act banned the practice and it still continues today. Anothe r racially predatory practice — pushing h hig - risk loans on people of color — inflated the housing bubble that burst in 2008, leaving 9.3 million homeowners facing foreclosure. Nearly ten years later, in December 2017 , there were more than 60,000 new foreclosure filings. Today, lawmakers acting on the financial industry’s behalf are attempting to cripple the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the govern ment agency established abuse. financial in the wake of the crash to stop such 58

63 Wall Street and other big corporations have also contributed to economic distress in cities and states As Saqib Bhatti, Co - by lobbying to block progressive taxes needed to properly fund public services. Executive Director of the Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE), has pointed out, big banks then turn around and “exploit these cash strapped state and local governments through predatory - financial deals, just like they targeted homeowners with predatory mortgages during the housing boom.” To finance pr ojects like bridges and schools, state and city governments sell municipal bonds. From Illinois to Kansas to Detroit and Puerto Rico, states and cities are slashing public services as they prioritize the Wall Street holders of these bonds over the needs of their residents. The Impact of Poverty - Health Care Section V: Health care provision is in crisis in the U.S. Driven by drug overdoses, life expectancy at birth in this country declined for the second consecutive year in 2016 . This wa s the first time this had happened U.S. infant mortality rates in 2010 1962 and 1963. were among the highest in the developed since world. This is despite the fact that the U.S. spends more mone care — $10,348 y per capita on its health per person — than any other wealthy country in the world. Figure 2.1 4 Organization for Economic Co Source: - operation and Development. , even for those with health The question of healthcare is often tied directly to financial hardship insurance . According to the Kaiser Family Foundation , in 2016, 43 percent of adult s with health insurance struggled to afford making their deductible payments, nearly 30 percent experienced , and 73 percent of the insured reported cutting back basic bills difficulties affording medical 59

64 household necessities and food in order to pay medical bills. The number one cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States is medical debt . s Put People First! PA has been organizing around the right to health care in small towns and citie - founder Nijmie Dzurinko describes, across the state of Pennsylvania for the past five years. As co “People are choosing between paying for medications and paying for utilities. They are stretching out health care for their kids. This makes life medications, choosing between buying food and getting very hard, when you need to choose between one need or another need, when they’re really all needs. People are saying they are forced to stay in relationships because of insurance, because otherwise they won’t h ave benefits. It’s also a real question for workers, who are constantly bargaining away their other rights for their healthcare.” While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) led to historic gains in health insurance coverage, reducing the number of nonelderly un people from 44 million in 2013 to about 28 million by the end of insured 2016, the downward trend reversed in 2017, which saw the single largest one year increase as 3.2 - people were added to the rolls of the uninsured. The distribution of the uninsured remains million of statistically the same : Latinx and Black people were disproportionately uninsured at 16.9 rates million), resp percent (10.2 and 11.7 percent (4.6 million) ectively, versus 7.6 percent (13.6 million) for White people. The new tax law enacted in December 2017 eliminated the ACA’s individual mandate, which is expected to raise costs and lead to an additional 13 million people losing their insurance over the next decade. care are more likely to suffer poorer health outcomes, greater limitations Individuals without health 75 eath. The majority of the uninsured ( in their quality of life, and higher rates of premature d percent ) come from families with at least one full - time worker, but with incomes too low to cover their health car e and, presumably, other needs. A lack of means to afford insurance strongly of the uninsured in corresponds to a lack of access to health insurance options. About 80 percent 2016 were in families that had incomes that were lower than 400 percent of the poverty level. 60

65 Universal Health Care and Single Payer Health Care in Vermont Universal healthcare is considered a fundamental human right in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) constitution of 1948. WHO defines universal coverage to mean that “all people and communities can use the promotive, preventive, quality to be effective, while also ensuring curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.” According to Dean Baker, an economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, “Single - payer systems have been successfu l in providing universal care to the populations of the countries that have them, and doing so at a far lower cost than in the United States.” Per - person healthcare costs in Canada are just 47 percent of the costs in the United States. payer system in the United Kingdom, where healthcare is provided directly by the The per - person cost for the single - - payer countries also perform better than the United government, is 42 percent of the U.S. system. These and other single States on broad outcome measures like l ife expectancy and infant mortality and are comparable on more narrow measures like survival rates from various types of cancer and other disease. The Vermont Workers’ Center (VWC) is a grassroots organization whose members played an integral role in the state’s 2011 enactment of a single - payer health care law. This law was ultimately abandoned in 2014, but the struggle for health care continues. Liz Betty Owens, a member of the VWC, describes the challenges she faced to maintain her health care and receiv e treatment for Lyme disease: “I began the three and a half month process of registering for my state’s Medicare program...And ever since I was accepted, I’ve had to try and tread a careful line making sure I don’t make too much money and get booted off the state plan, risking fines from lack of health insurance, and again not having access to the care that I need... As weather patterns continue to hit new extremes through climate change and the Northeast continues to warm, the number of infected tick bugs — and the risk of Lyme disease — is only expected to grow. The people at the greatest risk are those of us who work outdoors, growing food, working on farms, maintaining state and federal lands. And our by the continued threat of our already limited access to heightened risk to this disease is made even more terrifying healthcare.” Uninsured rates vary significantly by state, depending on whether state governments opted to participate in the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, which extended eligibility to those living at o r below ($28,180 for a family of three) . The 32 states (including the District 138 percent of the poverty line have that participated in the Medicaid expansion seen higher coverage gains than the of Columbia) 19 that did not. by the Affordable e coverage gains brought about of th In fact, a 64 percent n estimated Care Act occurred in states that expanded Medicaid. Failure to for those with a coverage gap s Medicaid expansion create adopt incomes too high for Medicaid eligibilit y but too low to afford insurance in the marketplaces. Almost 2.4 million Americans Southern states , and the vast majority, 89 percent, live in this coverage gap to fall in 2 7 Of this total, . North Carolina in percent live in Texas, 16 percent in Florida, 10 percent in Georgia, and nine percent . Nationally, 48 percent of those in the insurance gap are White, 24 percent are Black , and 24 percent are Latinx. These gaps have devastating consequences. Callie Greer from Montgomery, Alabama, lost her daughter, Venus, to breast cancer that went undetec ted for months due to a lack of insurance. Venus 61

66 visited the ER more than 25 times. At one of these visits, t he ER doctor walked into her room and . realized her breast tissue was deteriorating. She died in 2013 when a tumor in her brain ruptured later explained, “No one should have to bury their child in America because they don’t have As Callie health insurance.” ospitals sis of Rural H The Cri In July 2014 Portia Gibbs of Belhaven in rural North Carolina had a heart attack. Just days before, Vidant Health, a private non profit corporation, had closed the hospital nearest to her home, citing cost reasons. Portia died waiting for a - - e air helicopter to b lifted to the closest emergency care facility, an hour’s drive away. In response to the hospital closure in Belhaven, in 2014 and 2015, the Republican Mayor of Belhaven, Adam O’Neal, civil rights veteran Bob Zellner, and people from the Moral Monda ys/Forward Together movement and the Kairos Center rural communities. walked 283 miles from Belhaven to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness of this crisis facing 120 rural hospitals have been closed. Between 2010 and 2018, there have been Since 2005, more than 83 hospital across 26 states, most of them in southern states. National Rural Health Association CEO Alan Morgan estimates closures 700 additional closings in the coming decade. These closures are part of the demise of rural communities and ess to critical health services. economies, indicating a failure of public investment, infrastructure, and acc Section VI: The Impact of Poverty – Housing and Homelessness Philadelphia Redlining and Homeless Organizing in 50 years after the enactment of the Fair Housing Act, America’s banks are redlining and lending in a racially discriminatory , Black The Center for Investigative Reporting manner, with increasingly less oversight. According to analysis by Reveal from applicants were denied conventional home loans at s hites in 48 cities, Latinx in 25, Asians ignificantly higher rates than W e, and Native Americans in three. In Philadelphia, Whites received 10 times as many mortgages as Blacks, despite in nin fourths of their branches in - these two racial groups making up equal shares of the city’s population. Banks located three hite neighborhoods. the city’s majority W The Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) in Philadelphia has been a leading force against such injustices for decades. A multi - racial organization founded by poor and homeless women in the early 1990s, KWRU organized welfare recipients, homeless individu als and families, and other poor people around economic human rights. Six of its members were arrested center in 1992 for entering an abandoned building. Their stated intention was to turn it into a community and KWRU used - call city this moment as an opportunity to wide attention to the growing problem of poverty and homelessness in the land of plenty. The United States has been in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, hastened by the foreclosure her than providing a safety net for those who crisis of the Great Recession, for nearly 50 years. Rat have fallen through the gaps created by this crisis, the Department of Housing and Urban 62

67 10,000 Development (HUD) has contributed to it. Major budget cuts have led the Department to offer each year since the 1970s , according to a 2013 report by the Joint fewer units of subsidized housing The a ffordable housing stock has actually declined Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. by 60 percent since . 2010 Today, only about one in four of those eligible to receive federal housing assistance actually do so. At the same time, the percentage of renter househo lds that spend at least half their income on housing has grown from 21 percent to 30 percent in the past two deca des . Meanwhile, nearly 73 percent of mortgage interest deduction subsidies have flowed to the top 20 percent of Americans as measured ceive , whi t he bottom 20 percent by income re le d only 0.1 percent of those same subsidies. The have new tax law lowered the cap on deductible mortgage debt, but only slightly, from $1 million to $750,000. As the demand for rental units has increased, so too has rent itself. Such increases, part of a decades - long trend, have given rise t o dire straits for poor and low - income families . In 2016, there was no state or county in the nation where an individual earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour necessary rent. In fact, the average minimum wage could afford a two - bedroom apartment at market to afford even a one - $16.35 an hour in 2016. Just one year later that wage has bedroom unit was to $17.14, more than double the current federal minimum wage. As of 2017, for every 100 climbed extremely low - income renters, a mere 35 will find affordable rental housing. The confluence of these factors has given rise to a housing crisis in the United States. The Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) has been organizing with and among the homeless in Califo rnia, Washington, Oregon , and Colorado since 2005. Paul Boden, WRAP’s Executive Director, who was formerly homeless himself, describes the rise of structural homelessness in the 1980s : “In the 1970s, we started to lose subsidized housing units and that mea nt losing access to housing in the neighborhoods where those units were. There was a direct connection between the people that were living in subsidized housing, the massive cuts to affordable housing, and the need to open emergency a new category of poor people shelter programs...And th en we also saw — — homeless poor people who were somehow seen as different from all the other poor people. But the only difference between homeless poor people and housed poor people is that one is indoors and one is outdoors.” A over ccording to the latest figures from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, experienced homelessness each night in 2017. T 553,000 individuals Law Center on he National Homelessness and Poverty (NLC HP) found that anywhere between 2.5 million and 3.5 million individuals comprise the “sheltered” homeless population in the U.S. every year . This includes those living in shelters, transitional housing centers, and makeshift outdoor shelters, such as clustered More than 7.4 million add itional individuals encampments colloquially referred to as “tent cities.” were estimated to be on the brink of homelessness, having lost their own homes and transitioned into the homes of others. One of the most disturbing findings of the NLCHP survey is that the number of reported outdoor , as Figure 2.15 between 2007 and 2016 encampments increased by 1,342 percent , from 19 to 274 63

68 two - of the encampments studied were expected to shows. Underscoring this point, almost thirds - were expected to have been in use for more one fourth have been in use for more than a year. Over five years. than Figure 2.15 National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty , Tent City, USA. Source: Historically marginalized populations tend to be disproportionately represented among the pulation themselves. Black people 41 percent of the homeless, who are a marginalized po make up 224,937 individuals), despite comprising only about 13 percent of the national homeless population ( . According to the most recent data from HUD, White people comprise U.S. population of 61.3 percent the nation 47 percent (260,979 individuals) of the national homeless population. al population and se ri Similarly, Latinx people are just under 22 percent 18 percent of the national population, but comp i (119,419 individuals) of the national homeless population. Homelessness is typically conceptualized in the popular imagination as an issue that most directly affects adults, but children are increasingly being forced to reckon with the challenges of homelessness on their own. The majority of homeless families are headed by single women with young children and almost 41,000 unacc ompanied children and youth experienced homelessness in 2017, with 88 percent of them falling between the ages of 18 and 24. Troublingly, this group of young more likely to be without shelter people was than other homeless individuals. re salient, and mo re understudied, than Perhaps nowhere is the problem of youth homelessness mo among LGBTQ yo uth. A 2012 study from the Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law among homeless youth service providers found that LGBTQ youth made up 40 percent of their clientele . Recent figures e stimate that LGBTQ youth represent between five and ten percent of the nation’s the national homeless youth of 20 percent and 40 percent young people, but anywhere between 64

69 Although the data is population, according to analysis from the National Coalition for the Homeless. hown that homeless LGBTQ youth are disproportionately youth of color. limited, some studies have s National Center for Tra nsgender Equality ’s The determined that 30 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey percent of respondents reported being homeless at least once in their lifetimes. Twelve percent cited being transgender as the reason for their homelessness. Half of undocumented transgender respondents expressed that they had been homeless at least once in their lives. Not surprisingly , economic factors played a role. Overall, the poverty rate for transgender respondents in 2015 was 29 Among Whites, 24 percent and was 15 percent. reported unemployment rate percent of their transgender respondents lived in poverty in 2015, but transgender respondents of color were especi ally hard hit. Thirty - eight percent of Black respondents, 43 percent of Latinx respondents, and 41 percent of Native American respondents indicated that they lived in poverty. Compounding the vulnerabilities of experiencing homelessness, cities and law e nforcement are colluding to criminalize homeless Americans , trying to make the best of the limited resources available to them. A 2016 report from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty of revealed the extent Of the 187 cities surveyed, 34 percent ban camping in such criminalization. public, 57 percent ban camping in certain public places, 65 percent ban loitering in certain public places, and 53 percent ban sitting or lying down in particular public places, among other behaviors necessary for the homeless to survive on the streets. These bans are increasing in prevalence in recent years: in the last ten years, for example, bans on camping in public places have increased by 60 pe rcent. Deprived of these makeshift living arrangements, homeless Americans often have few other alternatives. Only five of the 187 cities surveyed by the Law Center had a requirement for contingen cy plans to provide housing to those who had their “tent cities” disrupted by law enforcement. More disturbingly still, these prohibitions, and the subsequent enforcement of these prohibitions by law enforcement officials, put homeless individuals at risk of incurring criminal records and ensuing criminal justice debt that enmeshes them in the criminal justice system and only deepens their poverty. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, 11 times more vulnerable to incarceration than the general homeless Americans are as much as population nationally. Section VII: The Criminalization of Poverty in 1833 under federal law. In 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court Debtors’ prisons were outlawed in the U.S. reaffirmed that incarcerating indigent people because of their debts is a violat ion of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. However, the reality today is that low - income and poor people are routinely fined or arrested for minor violations, such as failing to use a turn signal at an intersection or driving with a broken tailli ght or with a suspended license . Policies that criminalize the very condition of being poor have risen since the 2007 financial crisis. Fines rose across 48 states and with them, the fees imposed for late or partia l payment, in the wake of the Great Recession , creating a snare for those without sufficient funds. According to the most recent estimates from 2011, 65

70 over $50 billion in criminal justice debt was owed by the estimated 10 million Americans that interact with the criminal justice system each year. Police forces have become money collectors, targeting the poor. The D epartment of Justice report on residents, Ferguson, Missouri, in 2015 found that the police culture seemed to see low - income especially from Black neighborhoods, “less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.” A National Public Radio investigation of Ferguson, in the wake of the Michael Brown killing, found that the municipality collected $2.6 million in fines and fees, largely for municipal code violations, and that this was Ferguson’s seco nd - largest source of income. This reality - is repeated in low income municipalities across the U.S. Local governments try to make up for income lost by austerity measures that begin at the federal level and have ramifications for revenue down ates and localities. through the st Indeed, the entire criminal justice system is complicit in this scheme. The probation process has become one of the most reliable money makers . In the absence of lost revenue in the wake of the Great Recession, local governments and courts have increasingly turned to private probation companies te companies promise to make money overseeing probation operations for . These priva local governments and courts at no cost to taxpayers. Instead, the costs of probationary operations are pushed onto the probationers themselves, giving rise to what has become known as the “offender funded” probation model. The result of such collusion is that the primary objective for local - government and courts becomes extracting revenue rather th an administering justice. Local governments, courts and private probation companies all profit wildly. In effect, two criminal justice systems have been created: one f or the favored wealthy and one for the poor. Perhaps nowhere is the existence of this two - tier system more apparent than in the practice of determining bail. Originally conceptualized as an incentive for defe nders to return for their court appearances, bail has become yet another means of criminalizing poverty. By the Department of 95 percent Justice’s own admission population since 2000 is the of the growth in the incarcerated result of an increase in the number of unconvicted defendants, many of whom are unable to make bail. That an increasing number of defendants cannot make bail is a result of the fact that bail amounts Confronting H om elessness and Incarceration in R ural Washington Chaplains on the Harbor (COH) is a ministry in Grays Harbor County, a predominantly White county that is one of the most economically distressed in Washington State. COH pastors, organizes, and works with the poor on the streets and in the jails of Grays Harbor. This has brought them unwanted attention and violence from the police and vig ilante groups across the county. Aaron Scott, chaplain and organizer with COH, describes their members’ relationship with law enforcement: “This region has invested far more heavily in incarceration and policing than in healing. Since the timber industry p acked up and left town in the 1990s, the main replacement industry has been incarceration. It starts early, too: Grays Harbor criminal offenses at a higher rate than any other county in the state of - County incarcerates children for nonviolent, non on. The ACLU recently sued our juvenile detention facility for torturing a child. Why invest in children, or in Washingt healing and recovery, when there’s money to be made in keeping the jails full?” 66

71 increased over the years. Studies have also shown that defendants of color are given themselves have amounts tha n their White higher bail counterparts. If one is jailed for inability to pay bai l, not only do costs mount, but jobs are lost, rent and car payments are not made, parents cannot care for their children or keep the lig hts on in the home. Sometimes this can result in loss of custody of children. Pretrial incarceration can lead to a loss of , including Social Security and Medicaid. One study revealed access to public benefits positive a correlation between pretrial incarceration and a conviction . A n inability to make bail can separate defendants from their medications and medical treatments and generally cause a deterioration of a defendant’s health. In 2013, individuals who were jailed before their trial made up of three - fourths the total number of suicides by incarcerated persons in local jails. 67

72 THE WAR ECONOMY AND MILITARISM A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Riverside Church, New York City, April 4, 1967 - Fighting militarism means not just stopping one war, but taking on the underlying social structures of racism, poverty, and policies that enabled the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to continue, while politicians and defense contractors get rich, [and to see] the militarism in our police. The militarism of our public lands. The militarism of the borders. The militarism in our schools. And virtually all of our institut ions. Rev. Shawna Foster, former Board Chair, Iraq Veterans Against the War, 2017 - 68

73 When Dr. King warned of the dangers of militarism, the United States was in the middle of a devastating war in Vietnam, with U.S. bombing campaigns ravaging neighboring Cam bodia and Laos. And in the five decades since, powerful elites in the United States have never wavered from the ir conviction that "hard power" meaning b rutal military force — is the basic foundation of U.S. wealth — and that non - a nd domination around the world military engagement with the world, such as diplomacy, can be largely sidelined in favor of military assault. Today, U.S. troops and bombers are fighting wars in Afghanistan, Iraq , and Syria, and U.S. drones and aigns in Libya, Pakistan, Somalia planes are conducting deadly bombing camp and Yemen. In 2017, , U.S. Special Forces were deployed in 149 countries . And yet with no legal draft and fewer Americans serving in the military, the direct costs of U.S. And t he indirect costs of our bloated Pentagon militarism are not as evident as they were in 1968. nd abroad are woefully under - budget and the human and environmental tolls both at home a warned against the "military - industrial reported. Unlike President Dwight Eisenhower, who tical leader is putting the dangers of militarism and the war economy complex," no contemporary poli at the center of public debate. years since Vietnam, U.S. public support for the military 50 n the It is not, therefore, surprising that i has skyrocketed. In a January 2018 poll , 87 percent of American voters said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the military. No other instituti on, from schools to banks to courts to the media, let alone Congress, the presidency or political parties, enjoys that level of support. T he military is now the most trusted institution in the country. This section highlights under - publicized indicators o f the war economy and militarism today, including the human toll of warfare, the budget, privatization, race, gender, and environmental impact. The War Economy and Military Expansion Section I: If the priorities of a nation are evident in its budget, our country has been off course for half a century. At the height of the Vietnam War more than 40 years ago, the U.S. was spending more than twice as ($365 billion) as on programs that reduce or prevent much of its discretionary budget on the military poverty discretionary spending has poverty ($156 billion). Today the gap between military and anti - grown far past this. 5 years into the By 2017, with the Vietnam War long over, the Cold War consigned to history and 1 Global War on Terror, military spending was more than three times the investm ent in people's lives at home — $668 billion for the military versus $190 billion for education, jobs, housing and other basic All human needs. ( figures are adjuste d for inflation.) 69

74 gure 3.1 Fi Source: National Priorities Project, Office of Management and Budget. Military spending includes spending on the Department o f Defense, wars, nuclear weapons, and other military activities. Anti - poverty spending was broadly defined to include: federal educ ation spending (K - 12 and higher education); Medicare (administration and some program parts); community and regional development; housing assistance; early childhood education; community social services; income security (supplemental income, heating assistance, c hild care block g rants, etc.); training and employment services; and unemployment assistance. on ₵ of every discretionary dollar on the military, and 22 ₵ Overall, in 1976, the United States spent 51 - going to anti ₵ anti - poverty programs. In 2017, this figure was 53 ₵ going to the military , and just 15 - poverty programs. Under the budget President Trump proposed in February 2018, almost two ₵ s 65 ₵ of every discretionary dollar — third — would go to anti - would go to the military, and just 12 poverty programs by 2023. Many argue tha t the military produces jobs, making the enormous expenditure an investment in people's lives . They note that the rise of the World War II - era military production helped pull the country out of the Great Depression. But by today's standards, since the begi nning of the War on Terror, military spending tends to stall job creation as compared to most other ways of investing federal dollars. The latest research finds that $1 billion in military spending cr eates approximately 11,200 jobs — but the same amount of money would create 26,700 jobs if invested in education, or 17,200 in health care. , 16,800 jobs in clean energy 70

75 A uthor David Vine on U.S. Military Bases “In 1968, at the height of the war in Vietnam, the United States had military bases in about 50 countries. 50 years later, there are about 800 U.S. overseas bases in at least 80 countries. Special Forces Command acknowledges that in 2017 its ere operating in at least 149 countries. elite troops w While we spend around $150 billion a year maintaining comfortable bases and troops in Italy, Okinawa, Germany, and beyond, the water in Flint is still unsafe to drink, the subway systems in Washington, D.C. and Ne w York City still suffer frequent, sometimes deadly accidents, and schools in Baltimore still don't have enough heat to remain open on cold winter days.” nd the World. David Vine, American University, author of Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America a Figure 3.2 that, according to U.S. Special Operations Command the Pentagon's elite troops, including Navy Investigative reporter Nick Turse revealed SEALS and Army Green Berets, were deployed to 149 nations in 2017. The map shows 132 of those countries; 129 locations (in bl ue) were -- and Somalia Syria, Yemen , from open supplied by U.S. Special O -- - perations Command; Turse identified 3 additional locations (in red) source information. The other 17 countries have not been identified. The expansion of the U.S. military around the world causes serious problems , from assaults on local , in women to environmental destruction to distorting local economies. According to Stars and Stripes 2011 there were 333 rep orts of sexual assault by U.S. Marines on Marine bases. The highest number was at the huge Camp Lejeune base in Florida and the second highest, with 67 assaults, was Okinawa. , "there is no e Nation Bas As Vine writes in Along with people, the local environment always suffers. underestimating the profound environmental damage caused by most military bases and the significant risks they pose to human and the rest of the natural environment...Even the greenest military installation has a carbon footprint vas tly disproportionate to the number of people living 71

76 and working on base. Bases are, after all, usually home to large concentrations of extraordinarily fuel - inefficient trucks, tanks, aircraft, and naval vessels...The military also uses huge amounts of ener gy to condition, heat, and power its bases' tens of thousands of buildings and structures. The military's air - thirst for petroleum is so great that on a worldwide basis, the U.S. armed services consume more oil every day than the entire country of Sweden." The environmental legacy of U.S. wars around the world include: unexploded ordnance left behind by U.S. troops, forests destroyed by chemical defoliants such as Agent Orange in Vietnam, toxic liquids ravaged coun that leach into the soil and water of war - tries for generations after wars have ended, and air pollution from military burn pits used to destroy chemicals, plastics, equipment, and documents. exposé in Newsweek This environmental impact is evident at home, as well. According to a 2014 looking just at military bases inside the U.S., the Pentagon is directly responsible for 141 Superfund sites, which are contaminated sites so dangerous to human health or the environment that they to 10 percent of all of Superfund sites, far qualify for special federal clean - up grants. This amounts more than any other polluter. Another 760 or so additional Superfund sites are abandoned military facilities or sites that otherwise support military needs. 72

77 Figure 3.3 ilitary Section II: B enefitting From War And P rivatizing The M Whether 50 years ago, when the first Poor People’s Campaign called out excessive military spending, or today, the massive U.S. defense budget has never actually been about “defense.” Washington's wars of th e last 50 years have little to do with protecting Americans. Rather, their goals are to consolidate U.S. corporations' control over oil, gas, other resources and pipelines; to supply the Pentagon with military bases and strategic territory to wage more war s; to maintain military dominance over any - challenger(s); and to continue to provide justification for Washington's multi billion dollar military industry. That industry is thriving. In 1967, the year the first Poor People's Campaign was announced and the height of the Vietnam War, the Pentagon spent $251 billion on military contractors. years later, in 50 2017, that amount had increased to $320 billion. Just as one example, in 2017 Pentagon contractor billion Lockheed Martin was paid over $35 billion in taxpayer money, almost as much as the $39 Trump proposed for the entire State Department budget for 2019. 73

78 the common Huge profits for military contractors and their exceptionally highly paid CEOs undercut wants war." When your personal wealth relies directly on military spending, there claim that "no one - war policies. In the years following the terrorist attacks of September 11, is a motive to support pro 2001, virtually all corporate CEOs were doing very well. A 2005 report by the Institute for Policy Studies showed that between 2001 and 2004, CEOs of large corporations averaged a 7 percent raise on their already lucrative salaries. Defense contractor CEOs, however, a veraged a 200 percent increase in compensation as the U.S. ramped up war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The problem goes beyond the false claims that the hundreds of billions of dollars in the U.S. military budget are somehow all necessary to protect our troop s. The Pentagon, the White House, Congressional armed services committees , and military contractors all rely on public support for the troops to justify military spending that actually has nothing to do with protecting or supporting tech soldiers. In fact, they do a kind of "bait and switch" to justify spending on nuclear weapons, high - advanced weapons systems, and new warplanes that sometimes even the Pentagon itself does not ar go straight from want. In the meantime, there are cost overruns, and hundreds of billions every ye Pentagon procurement offices to giant corporations. None of that goes to the troops. War Profiteering: The David Brooks Story New York In 2005, David H. Brooks threw a party for his daughter’s bat mitzvah that was absurdly over the top. The businessman flew in musical mega stars Stephen Tyler and Joe Perry (from Aerosmith), 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Kenny G., and a gaggle of other celebrity acts, many by private jet, to perform for the girl in the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center. he money for the bash, estimated by the New York Daily News at $10 million, came from war profits, made this That t excess even more obscene. Brooks, CEO of bulletproof vest maker DHB Industries, had seen his fortunes soar since the 9 - 11 terrorist attacks. In 20 04, 9 he earned $70 million, most of it from stock options. That represented an increase of 13,349 percent over his pre 11 - - compensation, according to Executive Excess, co - published by the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy. flaunting of his war wealth drew attention to the fact that the equipment which boosted his fortunes didn’t even Brooks’ work very well. In May 2005, the Marines recalled more than 5,000 DHB armored vests after questions were raised about their effectiveness in s topping 9 mm bullets. The Marines and Army later announced a recall of an additional 18,000 DHB vests. While many war profiteers and fraudsters get off scot free, Brooks’s outrageous personal behavior drew enough scrutiny to land him in prison in 2010 for insider trading and using company funds for his own lavish lifest yle. He died in prison in 2016. Sarah Anderson, Institute for Policy Drawn from "Executive Excess: Close Loopholes That Allow War Profiteering" by Studies, 2006. in $96 million top five defense contractors earned a combined total of In 2016, the CEOs of the compensation, or an average of $19.2 million. earned by a $214,000 That is more than 90 times the 74

79 U.S. military general with 20 years of experience that same year, including housing allowances and extra combat pay. , for their part, faced considerably more everyday risk Army privates in combat — or generals for that matter. Yet they earned less than $30,000 in 2016. than CEOs Figure 3. 4 proxy statements. Source: Institute for Policy Studies , based on Defense Finance and Accounting Service and corporate The availability of private military contractors, along with the end of the draft and the changing nature of warfare, has also led to a dramatic shift towards reliance on privately employed civilian ssigned to lower workers to do many of the tasks once a ranked troops. As of January 2018, the - Pentagon's job categories for private contractors in the Iraq and Afghanistan war theaters include act ivities like construction, base support (e.g., cooking and cleaning), IT/communications, medical — as well as armed and and dental, social services, translation and int erpretation, and transportation nsibilities active duty military service unarmed security details. These are many of the same respo members also provide but for far less compensation. W ar 50 years ago, the ratio of U.S. soldiers to civilian contractors was 1 Further, during the Vietnam to 0.17 . In the early Afghanistan and Iraq W ars, the numbers shot up almost 1 0 times higher — 1.1 contractors for every soldier in Afghanistan, and 1.2 in Iraq. By 2016, at the height of the drone wars, Foreign Policy magazine - reported that "Obama has authorized the continuation or re emergence of two of the most con - dependent wars (or 'overseas contingency operations' in Pentagon - tractor speak) in U.S. history. As noted previously, there are roughly three contractor personnel (28,626) for every member of the U.S. military (9,800) in Afghanistan, far above the contract or per uniformed military personnel average of America’s previous wars. In Iraq today, 7,773 contractors support U.S. ions and 4,087 U.S. troops." — government operat 75

80 Figure 3.5 - , Department of Defense Contractor and Troop Levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2007 Congressional Research Service Source: 2017. security contractors. DOD did not begin releasing data on contractors in “Private Military Contractors” refers to both security and non - C ENTCOM until Q4 FY2007. U.S. Armed Forces personnel figures include all active and reserve component personnel. Figure 3.6 - Source: Congressional Research Service , Department of Defense Contract or and Troop Levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2007 2017. “Private Military Contractors” refers to both security and non - security contractors. DOD did not begin releasing data on contractors in CENTCOM until Q4 FY2007. U.S. Armed Forces personnel figures inc lude all active and reserve component personnel. The deployment of so many civilian contractors creates all kinds of problems. Military contractors are even less accountable than soldiers to the rules of engagement or international laws of war regarding protection of civilians. When four machine gun - wielding civilian operatives employed by Blackwater under a Pentagon contract carried out the Nisour Square massacre in Iraq in 2007, killing what the Washington Post called 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians, Blackwater became the poster child for 76

81 "deep resentments about the accountability of American security forces during one of the bloodiest periods of the Iraq War." Massive publicity led to a rare prosecution of the Blackwater mercenaries - degree murder conviction and three other thirty - year sentences in in a U.S. court, leading to a first 2014. later the verdicts and sentences were overturned. Three years Reliance on contractors also means the public is frequently misled into believing that wars are winding down because official troop le vels are dropping, unaware of the vast numbers of civilians still doing the Pentagon's fighting. And the pay disparity between well - paid U.S. private contractors and their military counterparts can create resentment among U.S. troops paid so little that th ey and their families often qualify for food stamps . In 2016 the Government Accounting Office reported that in 2013 about 23,000 active duty military troops were receiving food stamps. The same GAO report showed that in 2015, 24 percent of children in Pentagon - run U.S. schools qualified for free meals, and another 21 percent qualified for reduced - price meals. Draft overty P Section III: The - called "all - Many people continue to see the military as a way out of poverty. The ranks of the so volunteer military " are still filled by a draft — not a legal draft, as during the Vietnam War, but an economic draft. During the heyday of the Vietnam - era draft, many middle class and wealthy young men were able to defer or avoid military service through access to lawyers, doctors, universities, and othe r institutions inaccessible to the poor. Today, young men and women are still subject to a draft enforced by poverty, by lack of other jobs, by lack of college opportunities, and by the limited options available in rural areas and small towns. 2008 study and military service, “an important As reporte d in a , on race, class, immigration status predictor to military service in the general population is family income. Those with lower family income are more likely to join the military than those with higher family income...the all - volunteer force continues to see overrepresentation of the working and middle classes, with fewer incentives for upper clas s participation.” This has meant that, over the last 50 years, poor communities continue to suffer a disproportionate share of the nation's wartime fatali ties . The poorest 30 percent of U.S. communities suffered 36 percent of the casualties in the Vietnam War and 38 percent in the Iraq War. The wealthiest 30 percent of U.S. communities had 26 percent of casualties in the Vietnam War and only 23 percent in he Iraq War. t 77

82 Veterans doing an “About Face” Against War About Face: Veterans Against the War is the new name of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), an organization of ce, National Guard members, and veterans and active duty servicemen and women from all branches of military servi reservists who have served in the U.S. military since September 11, 2001. Founded in 2004, IVAW has led the movement of veterans and GIs working to end the U.S. military’s occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. IVAW has built up a grassroots base of over 3,000 members in 48 states across the country. In 2008, they organized Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan, - an event that built on the first Winter Soldier hearings organized by Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971. Thirty seven years later, they brought out more than 200 veterans to talk about their experiences in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Members also organized a protest against NATO in 2012 in Chicago, where veterans, also building on Vietnam Veterans Agai nst the War’s action decades earlier, threw back their medals of honor in protest against the lies and the impacts of war at home and abroad. f the About Face: Veterans Against the War until 2017 and speaks to the impact o Rev. Shawna Foster was Board Chair of privatization of the military: “We watched our jobs being taken away by contractors who would do the exact same job we were paid to do, except we were getting paid under minimum wage...and [contractors] were making $90,000 - $120,000 a d quit and come back as contractors, but the thing is, if you die as a contractor doing the same job, you year. So we woul don’t get the same benefits like you do in the military...and nobody cares. Nobody is throwing a parade, nobody is remembering you anywhere, nobody is n aming a street after you. But if you die in the service, that is totally different. You come back in a coffin, with a flag draped over you...this is one way the war machine has been able to continue at our expense.” Figure 3.7 Kriner and Francis X. Shen, Los Angeles Times Source: Douglas L. In 2010, the Iraq war was still at its height and the massive job losses of the 2007 08 financial crisis - had kicked in. The crisis affected everyone, but according to the , National Priorities Project "recruitment rates [were] about 20 percent higher in non metropolitan counties than they [were] in - m etropolitan counties." More recently, a 2017 study based on Pentagon information on the hometowns of 6,800 U.S. casualties from the wars in Iraq a nd Afghanistan through 2016 indicated 78

83 that 23 percent of the casualties came from small towns and rural areas that together make up only 17 percent of the U.S. population. Too often veterans drafted by poverty and treated badly in the military continue t o face economic 2017 report from the Economic Policy Institute hardship when they return. According to a , if the federal minimum wage were increased to $15 per hour by 2024, as some new legislation proposes, one out of every five vets (1.8 million people) would get a raise. And the high number of veter ans who are currently underpaid undercuts the myth that only teenagers working at McDonald’s after school would benefit from raising the minimum wage. Of the military veterans who would benefit, nearly two cent have some college, and almost 70 thirds are 40 years old or older. More than 60 per - percent are working full time at below living wage levels. The Poverty Draft in Cities and Small Towns then Jose Vasquez, Current Board Chair of About Face: Veterans Against the War, grew up in the Bronx, New York, and moved to San Bernardino, California. Garett Rappenhagen grew up in Colorado and served as a Cavalry Scout Sniper with the 1st Infantry Division in the U.S. Army. He is the Regional Director of the Vet Voice Foundation. Both Jose and Garett were conscr ipted into the military through the poverty draft, seeking opportunities through military service that were not readily available otherwise. They also both left the service to join the veterans’ resistance movement. As Jose describes: “The high school I went to in San Bernardino was near a large Air Force base. When that Air Force base closed, the economy of San Bernardino was devastated...a lot of folks moved there from L.A. because it was cheaper, but it also brought with it poverty, drugs, gang violence. I grew up on welfare. My mom was a single mom with four kids. For old high school - year - me joining the military was my escape and way out of that situation I was in...When I signed up as a 16 s was a stepping stone. I wasn’t necessarily thinking of the kid, my recruiter talked about $40,000 for college...I thought thi military as a career but this was a way out, with the GI Bill and the prestige and honor having served in the military. I had a vague sense that employers would like the fact that I was a veteran . And it got me out of L.A. immediately once I signed up. I would soon after be able to send home money to my mother who was looking after my siblings.” related - Garett describes his own path to the military: “I dropped out of high school after my father died of A gent Orange cancer and ended up working small minimum wage jobs. I bounced around a lot until I decided to join the military one month before September 11th...I was getting in trouble with law enforcement and realized that I didn’t have a lot of op portunities for college...I thought through serving in the military, I would get that opportunity...I don’t think my situatio n was that uncommon. Most of the people I talked to were from poor rural areas or from the ghetto somewhere, places ed opportunity...[Recruiters are] in our high schools, sometime in our junio r high schools, middle schools — with very limit - - olds are allowed to pick year recruiting kids all the time. You see them at fairs and other things where you see 8 and 10 ld them and cock them and feel proud to be holding them.” up weapons at a table and ho 79

84 The Military Gender Gap Section IV: Only one year before the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, the longstanding U.S. law restricting the share of women in the military to 2 percent of the total force was changed — largely because of the demands of the escalating Vietnam War. The women’s movement that began during Vietnam also played a significant part in the increasing number of and broadened roles for wom en in the U.S. military. The se for women’s equality in the U.S. military was complicated by the fact that that same ca military was engaging in wars that were killing large numbers of women in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Figure 3.8 . Department of Defense Source: By the time of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars almost 35 years later, women played a significantly larger role in the military, both in numbers and in range of responsibilities. In 2015, people of color made up 21 percent of the relevant civilian population, while they constituted 30.5 percent of the represented higher percent ages than men of color in all parts of the enlisted troops . W omen of color military forces. Women veterans, in 2016, were also significantly more diverse racially, with almost twice as high a p ercentage of Black female veterans as their male counterparts. 80

85 Figure 3.9 National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics Source: Veterans: 2016. , Profiles of But as women’s participation in the military increased, so did the number of women victimized by VA) data, one in every five women their fellow soldiers. According to recent Veterans Administration ( veterans has told their VA healthcare provider that they have experienced military sexual trauma, Department of defined as sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment. In 2012, a Veterans Affairs survey indicated that nearly half of female military personnel sent to Iraq or Afghanistan had reported being sexually harassed, and nea rly 25 percent said they had been sexually assaulted. While consistent historical data are lacking, sexual trauma has long plagued the U.S. military. , a 2003 survey of women According to an article in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine veterans who served in wars from Vietnam to the first Gulf war found that nearly 30 percent had suffered from rape or attempted rape and 79 percent reported being sexually harassed. This institutional discrimination against women soldiers takes place alongside propaganda efforts to when the use discrimination against women as a justification for war. Just four years before 2001, Zalmay Khalilzad had extremist anti - women Taliban ruled Afghanistan, UNOCAL o il adviser ates to discuss potential deals. Little or no was welcomed the Taliban to the Unit ed St concern women's rights or women's lives. In December 2001 President George W. Bush expressed about . appointed Khalilzad special representative, and later U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan After the September 11 attacks, there was a sudden onslaught of expressed concern about the Taliban's treatment of Afghan women. Just weeks into the U.S. war in Afghanistan, First Lady Laura called the war "a fight for the rights and dignity of women." But the U.S. - installed government Bush that replaced the Taliban included many warlords and others whose extreme antagonism to women’s 81

86 from that aliban. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a U.S. favorite from rights was hardly distinguishable of the T Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, actually invented the horrific tactic of throwing acid - the anti in Afghan political life. remains influential in the face of young women heading for school; in 2018 he CIA rankings show Afghanistan's level of And after more than 16 years of U.S. war and occupation, infant mortality remains just where it was when the Taliban were in power: the highest in the world. Sonali Kolhatkar and Mariam Rawi As Afghan women activists poignantly assert, "The tired claim that one of the chief objectives of the military occupation of Afghanistan is to liberate Afghan women ly absurd, it is offensive. Waging war does not lead to the liberation of women anywhere. is not on Women always disproportionately suffer the effects of war, and to think that women's rights can be won with bullets and bloodshed is a position dangerous in its naïve té. ... Paper gains for women's rights mean nothing when, according to the chief justice of the Afghan Supreme Court, the only two rights women are guaranteed by the constitution are the right to obey their husbands and the right ue. These are the convictions of the government the U.S. has helped to to pray, but not in a mosq create. The American presence in Afghanistan will do nothing to diminish them. Sadly, as horrifying as the status of women in Afghanistan may sound to those of us who live in the West, the biggest problems faced by Afghan women are not related to patriarchy. Their biggest problem is war.” ociety S Section V: M ilitarizing Our The militarization of U.S. society is visible far beyond the Pentagon. Less than three months after Martin Luther King was assassinated, Congress passed the Omnibus Crime and Safe Streets Act, vastly 50 yea increasing federal funds for local police forces. rs later, many U.S. police departments have used those funds to adopt the technology, tactics, and cultural outlook of the armed forces, resulting in highly militarized local police. ," which authorizes the Much of the federal funding comes through things like the " 1033 program Pentagon to transfer military equipment and resources to local police departments from grenade — launchers to armored personnel carriers — al l at virtually no cost. Between 2006 and 2014 alone, the value of just the top ten categories of military equipment sent to law enforcement agencies totaled armored military vehicle patrolled more than $1.5 billion. It was because of the 1033 program that an the streets of Ferguson after the killing of Michael Brown in 2014. 82

87 Figure 3.10 Source: National Public Radio , data obtained from The Law Enforcement Support Office. Another example was the creation of Special Weapons And Tactical teams in police (SWAT) on militarization departments across the country. The American Civil Liberties Union's 2014 report of local police found that SWAT raids often used unnecessary violence, and were clustered in predominantly Black and Latinx neighborhoods . Overall, law enforcement agencies th at received . associated with greater numbers of civilian killings by police military equipment are 83

88 The Military, the Police and the War on Drugs "The military unit that drug efforts in the continental United States (i.e., Joint Task - coordinates military support for anti Force 6) has worked extensively with various American law enforcement agencies but particularly with the U.S. Border Patrol, a police unit focused on immi gration issues. "This collaboration has changed over the years from the military simply providing loans and equipment (in the early 1980s), to providing advisors and training (in the late 1980s), to providing ground troops and substantial integration of m ilitary and law enforcement efforts in the 1990s. This collaboration has often entailed serious cultural adjustments, in that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are supposed to think in terms of legal procedures and due - process rights, while military agencies think in terms of overwhelming and destroying an adversary. Thus, the training (in small - unit tactics, interview and interrogation techniques, the use of pyrotechnics and booby traps, etc.) provided by the military to American LEAs is oriented toward the elimination of an enemy threat and inherently engenders a much more militaristic orientation in civilian police bodies. .S. military’s presence in the ‘war on drugs’ worldwide, this tendency to militarize civilian "Interestingly, because of the U rces through collaborative training is not just limited to American LEAs. Researchers have documented that the police fo U.S. military trained almost two thousand Colombian National Police and about one hundred Panamanian National Police in light infantry tactics in 2003. As these investigators have noted, light infantry tactics are not police skills but military skills; and the provision of such training cannot but help blur the line between the police and military roles. Thus, seen in - this broader context, it is pe rhaps not surprising that the U.S. military’s role in the global war on narco trafficking (which has encouraged practices, programs, and doctrines promoting confusion between the police and military roles abroad) has also fostered a similar confusion of ro les in the United States itself." excerpted from "Soldiers as Police Officers/ Police Officers as Soldiers: Role Evolution and Revolution in the - Armed Forces & Security United States," Donald J. Campbell & Kathleen M. Campbell, — Another impact of this widespread militariz ation at the governmental level militarized police the military forces themselves — is the militarization of much of civilian life in the United agencies and States. While guns have always played a major role in U.S. history and culture, dating back to the genocide of Native people inherent in the European conquest of the continent and the enslavement of Black Africans, guns are now more prevalent than ever before. With 265 million guns, Americans own far more guns per capita than the residents of any other country. According to the Geneva based - , "[c]ivilian ownership of machine guns is legal in most parts of the United States, Small Arms Survey under Class 3 licenses. The phenomenon is seen in a few other countries, typically with weak legal s, such as Somalia and Yemen." system The ubiquity of guns exacts a steep price. From 1968 to 2016, there were about 1.6 million gun deaths - were 7.0 times higher than in other high homicide rates . S . U in the United States. income countries, driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25.2 times higher. Of the 38,658 gun deaths in the United States in 2016 alone, almost 40 percent were homicides. Guns killed nearly 2,400 children 18 or under that year. 84

89 "God didn't call America to do what she's doing in the world now. God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, We've committed more war crimes almost unjust war as the war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that war. than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Feb 4, 1968, The Drum Major Instinct Human and And The Section VI: the Wars Moral Costs of — What Comes After Today, as in 1968, the Pentagon does not drop bombs on ideas like "terrorism" or "communism." It drops bombs on cities, it kills children and families, nearly all of them people of color, in countries . The numbers of those civilian casualties around the world, and puts our own troops in harm's way continue to rise, despite shifts in amounts and types of U.S. troops and tactics used. According to the United Nations , civilian deaths in Afghanistan reached a record high number during the first nine The UN d months of 2017 than during the same period in 2009 when the counting began. foun a 52 percent increase in civilian casualties from air strikes compared to the same period in 2016. The UN also expressed particular concern about casualties among women and children caused by air strikes, thirds — noting that "women and children — o f civilian comprised more than two - 68 percent casualties from aerial attacks." c e U.S. war against ISIS, As to th between April 2016 and June 2017, a New York Time s team onducted stigation of airstrikes in Iraq since th e the latest military action in first systematic, ground - based inve the country began in 2014 . They found that the coalition strikes had been much less precise than the resulted in civilian ne in five of the coalition strikes identified military claimed, with deadly results. O n death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition. According to the report, “I terms of civilian deaths, this may be the least transparent war in recent American history." e had to destroy the village in order to save it.” Today, as A U.S. colonel famously said in Vietnam, “w can be seen in places like Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, the U.S. military is destroying entire cities, killing thousands, and dispossessing millions, in the name of liberating them from ISIS or other . According to the United Nations , in 2016 enemies had been , 65.6 million people around the world forced to flee violence , war , and persecution. Many remained in their home countries, struggling to . I find safety somewhere, perpetually displaced. Many others sought refuge in other countries n 201 6 there were nearly 22.5 million such refugees, more than half of them ch ildren. international The streams of desperate people seeking refuge across the sea or around the world have become a flood. In the United States more than anywhere else, those people have been met with racist attack, xenophobic rejection, and three Muslim bans. In th e first years of the Syrian war, from 2011 to 2014, 85

90 - the U.S. admitted only 172 Syrian refugees. The numbers went up in 2015 16, but the total for both years was still under 15,000. When the Trump administration came into office and announced a series of Mu slim bans, Syrian refugee admissions along with entry of all people from various Muslim - majority countries virtually collapsed. . wars are not a new phenomenon Refugee flows resulting from U.S and public opposition to — refugees, often rooted in racism and x enophobia, is not new either. But government policy did not always encourage or follow public opposition in the past. After the Vietnam War, a refugee crisis emerged as well. Just days after the end of the war in May 1975, polls showed only 37 percent of Americans supported admitting refugees from Washington's war, while 49 percent opposed. But the immediately U.S. allowed in 130,000 refugees, mainly supporters of the government nevertheless backed South Vietnamese government and military. By the end of the decade, with tens of - U.S. thousands of new Vietnamese, Laotians , and Cambodians on the move seeking refuge, the U.S. began 4,000 every month, twice th e earlier limit. Most Americans accepting 1 — 62 p ercent — opposed allowing them in. Despite the public opposition, over the next decade almost 600,000 Southeast Asian refugees were admitted. The job of the U.S. military at that time was to arr ange the settlement of the refugees, not to keep them out of the United States. Resettling Refugees Col. Ann Wright, a former acting ambassador and State Department official and before that a high - ranking military officer, was in charge of resettlement of Vietnamese refugees in 1975. She is also with Veterans for Peace and CODEPINK Women for Peace. She remembers that, "Just as the war was ending, I was recalled to active duty in the military to oversee one of the three large refugee center s set up at U.S. military bases — Camp Chaffee in Arkansas. We were told to prepare to receive over 300,000 Vietnamese and other Indochinese refugees in just six weeks. (A total of 130,000 arrived during those first weeks.) "We had a continuous population of 30,000 refugees at Fort Chaffee. We had World War II barracks quickly renovated to house family units. We washed out the old huge mess halls to begin cooking for thousands of people. Tons of rice and tons of cabbage, carrots and onions arrived weekly, and we provided cots, sheets, towels, and baby diapers. There were no laundry facilities big enough for such a volume of laundry in that part of Arkansas, so we sent it by helicopter to Fort Sill , Oklahoma. clipboard and pencil — no computers yet. y with a "The complicated logistics were done mostl I was in charge of buying winter clothes for the refugees that were remaining in the camps after September. I went to Sears to get catalogs to determine what types of clothes we would get and then attempted to see where we could order bers. The only company that still had enough winter clothes in their inventory was the military post them in such huge num exchange international, which brought clothes back from Europe for us to give to the refugees for the coming winter. "Some of the most poignant moments w ere watching older Vietnamese standing at the fences to meet buses coming from the airport, watching everyone get off the buses to see if they could spot family members from whom they had been separated in the massive chaos of the war's end. The job of the U.S. Army at that time wasn't to keep people out, but to hand with international and national refugee organizations to help move people quickly through the camps work hand - in - ." and get them to communities that were waiting to welcome them to their new homes 86

91 Meanwhile, poor people around the world continue to pay a huge price for U.S. wars. During U.S. military actions abroad cities, countries and whole populations suffer, while stoking greater anger and encouraging the recruitment of new generations of an ti - U.S. fighters. Even in the earliest years of the Global War on Terror, U.S. military officials recognized that military invasion and occupation created more terrorism than it ended. Just two years into the occupation of Iraq, a senior official of a training and acknowledged that the war had already become “ the U.S. National Intelligence Council n opportunity [for terrorists] to enhance their technical skills. ” recruitment ground, and a The wars also perpetuate racism , as soldiers are trained to view all inhabitants of the war theater as their "enemy," and racist campaigns at home are designed to build public support for what "our troops" are doing to "them." According to Michael McPhearson, Executive Director of Veterans for , who fought in the 1991 Gulf War, "You grow up being taught that killing is wrong. Then you're Peace eed to be killed.” McPhearson continues to describe also taught that there are certain people who n the moral crisis this creates among military service members: “When you find out that what you've been taught about people in foreign lands or people in other places is not true, when you find out that th e same economic or social forces that are impacting your community, whether it be that you are a Black person or a poor person or whatever, are also impacting those people's communities, and that you really have a lot more in common with them than not, the n you realize that a lot of the policies that you're helping to underpin and forward are not good for your community nor the people that you're sent to fight...You realize that you're not really standing on stable moral ground as a soldier. And I do belie ve that there's something called moral injury. We’ve talked about post - traumatic stress, but people come back home and they come to these realizations. It is hard to reconcile. So then you have to speak up. You have to if you really want to follow a moral path and follow what you've been taught as a child. You really have no choice but to speak out and resist.” During the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, troops often faced the loss of that "moral path." In the earings sponsored by Iraq Veterans Against the War, 2008 Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan h former Marine machine gunner Jon Michael Turner testified that "On April 18, 2006, I had my first confirmed kill. This man was innocent. I don’t know his name. I called him 'the fat man.' He was walking b ack to his house, and I shot him in front of his friend and his father. The first round didn’t kill him, after I had hit him up here in his neck area. And afterwards he started screaming and looked right into my eyes. So I looked at my friend, who I was on post with, and I said, 'Well, I can’t let that happen.' So I took another shot and took him out. He was then carried away by the rest of his family. It took seven people to carry his body away. We were all congratulated after we had our first kills, and t hat happened to have been mine. My company commander personally congratulated me, as he did everyone else in our company. This is the same individual who had stated that whoever gets their day pass when we return from Iraq." Turner began first kill by stabbing them to death will get a four - his searing testimony by stripping his medals and ribbons from his chest and tossing them away. 87

92 While m any veterans are able to find spaces of resistance or otherwise address this moral crisis, unable to manage on their own, falling into substance abuse and patterns of violence others are . This has escalated into a suicide epidemic in the military. In against themselves and their families 2012, a disturbing trend emerged where suicide was claiming more military deaths than military A rmy. This precipitated a comprehensive report by the . More than half of these were in the action Veterans’ Administration on suicide among U.S. veterans. The study found that in 2014, the risk of suicide was 22 percent higher than among U.S . civilian adults. By September 2017, among veterans the an average of 20 veterans dying by suicide each day. VA was still reporting A Soldier’s Heart Jacob George a farmer from Arkansas, served as a paratrooper in Afghanistan and a peace activist who co - founded Afghan , about the moral injustice facing veterans: ”Soldier’s Heart” Veterans Against the War Committee. He composed the song Now, I’m just a farmer from Arkansas. There’s a lot of things I don’t understand, Like why we send farmers to kill farmers In Afghanistan. Now I did what I was told For my love of this land, And I come home a shattered man With blood on my hands. And now I can’t have a relationship, I can’t hold down a job. Oh, while some may say I’m broken, I call it a soldier’s heart. Because every time I go outside, I’ve got to look her in the eyes, Oh, and knowing that she broke my heart, And turned around and lied. Oh, I said red, white and blue, I trusted in you, And yo u never even told me why. Jacob George ended his life in 2014 after learning that the U.S. would be escalating its military efforts against ISIS. 88

93 89

94 This chapter provides a critical piece of the narrative that was not at the forefront of political consciousness at the time of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign. The U.S. political and economic system is not just based on systemic racism, poverty, and a militarized war economy. It also allows corporations to profit from the destruction of Earth’s vital life support systems. It allows the fossil fuel, chemical, and other industries to poison the air, water, and land humans depend on to live healthy lives — or to live, period. And those people and communities who are experiencing racism, and a militarized society have borne the brunt of the pollution that is the inevitable poverty , consequence of the elevation of profit over people and planet. To put things in global perspective, worldwide, pollution caused an estimated 9 million premature deaths (16 percent of all deaths) in 2015 . According to the Lancet Commission, this was “three times more deaths than from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence.” Water pollution alone is responsible for 1.8 million deaths worldw ide every year. While poor countries are the worst affected, pollution - related illnesses are most prevalent among the poorest and most marginalized people in all countries. ons of Constraints of time and space have not permitted coverage of all of the intersecti environmental injustices with race, poverty, and the war economy/militarism. This chapter discusses some critical intersections that help understand how environmental devastation is intertwined with militarization of the U.S. economy and society. ith the race, class, gender, and other inequalities, and w Section I: Greenhouse Gases Scientists have known for decades that human activities, particularly the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas, are warming the planet. In spite of knowing the risks, political leadership has dragged its feet on implementing solutions. U.S. green house gas (GHG) emissions peaked in 2007, 19 Congress on their impact. This reveals how little years after NASA scientist James Hansen warned priority political leadership attaches to an existential threat that, for now, mostly impacts poor r ou people, people of color, and people in the Global South. And it shows the political clout of the fossil litical system and prevented the kind of fuel industry, wh ich has effectively captured the U.S. po drastic action the country should have taken long ago to prevent the crisis of climate change from escalating to the level it has reached today. 90

95 Figure 4.1 Historical Trend of U.S. Greenhouse Gas - 2015 Emissions, 1990 Source: Environmental Protection Agency . The political power of the fossil fuel industry and the consequent governmental inact ion on climate change are a vivid illustration of how racial, economic, and other forms of inequality are structural in the U.S. political system. Only a system rooted in inequality would allow a institutionalized and s model that threatens the future of most of humanity, including wealthy elite to profit from a busines marginalized populations in this country. In that sense, climate change is caused by systemic r economic, social, and political inequality. Likewise, the effects of climate change, such as wate scarcity in some regions and superstorms and floods in others, extreme heat, and sea level rise, have unequal impacts. The people who suffer the most from the effects of climate change contribute the least to its causes. at, on average, low - income households in the U.S. consume much less Figure 4.2 below illustrates th energy per capita than high - income households, and are therefore responsible for less greenhouse gas pollution. 91

96 Figure 4.2 Source: Energy Information Administration 92

97 A Multiplier of Injustice, an interview with Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Climate Justice Program Environmental and - As someone with a long history in movements for environmental justice, what is your view on the long term trends in community responses to ecological damage in the U.S.? Historically, communities assailed by environmental injustice, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or industrial hog farming, were fighting their own battles without support from “environmental groups.” Even though these were environmental crises, you have a history of environmental groups working on more traditional “conservation,” and not working with these communities. Over time these groups have come together a bit more, which can sometimes be positive, as we saw with the nationwide solidarity wi th the water struggle in Flint, Michigan. (See box on Flint water crisis.) We’ve also seen the objectification of the struggles of frontline communities, by groups that sometimes have other interests. Let's say a large environmental organization wants to reduce greenhouse gases, and there’s a facility emitting greenhouse gases and other toxins that are harming a community, and the organization rallies the community against the - r 5 more years, the facility emits more cancer facility, and then reaches a “deal” to close down the facility in 5 years. So fo causing chemicals and more people die. Meanwhile, the organization gets to check a box to say there is an “announced retirement” for the plant to satisfy their funder. You often describe climate change as a multiplier of injustice. Can you elaborate on that? Take the injustice of oil refineries being right in the middle of Latinx and Black communities in Houston, so already you ane Harvey coming through and really have these toxic conditions that folks are living under, and then you have Hurric causing double jeopardy for those communities. Because of the hurricane, those toxins are everywhere and a lot more invasive. Likewise, communities already facing unemployment have more to lose when a disaster harms the infrastructure, and the jobs that are most insecure are the ones that aren’t going to bounce back. So you have people already living in poverty and then a disaster happens and exacerbates the situation. Part of the premise of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is to connect poverty, racism, the war economy/militarism, and environmental devastation. The intersections of environmental injustice and poverty and race are well documented. What are the connections between the war econ omy/militarism and environmental injustice? A good illustration is how nuclear weapons plants are located disproportionately in communities of color and low income - nuclides which are disproportionately communities. The nuclear weapons plant in Savannah, Georgia, emits radio - impacting Black women because of being an endocrine disruptor. Whether it’s the ways we are producing weapons or the ing wars that have roots in resource conflicts around energy, water, etc., we see militarism and environmental injustice be linked. 93

98 The Water Crisis Section II: Water has become a critical measure of justice and equity in the United States today, both as an essential resource for human survival and as a threat to human life and property. Poor people face crises of water affordability, water pollution, and in some parts of the country, water scarcity exacerbated by climate change. Meanwhile, in some parts of the country, poor people and people of color face the worst impacts of ongoing sea level rise caused by climat e change, as well as catastrophic events like hurricanes and flooding also partly attributable to climate change. Our economic and political system makes even a necessity such as water unaffordable, inaccessible, and unsafe for millions, for the benefit o f privatization profiteers and polluters. It also exposes millions to the risks of water scarcity in some regions, and flooding in others, for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry. The short - term profits of the wealthy and powerful are prioritized over the long - needs of communities . by design term Affordability and Accessibility of Safe Water The poorest 20 percent of U.S. households on average spend 2.8 percent of their income on water bills, up from 2.5 percent in 1984 (Figure 4.3). The wealthiest 20 percent spend approximately 0.4 percent of their income on water bills, which has remained es sentially unchanged since 1984. The United Nations recommends that, in order to remain affordable, water rates do not exceed 3 percent study of household income. However, one found that 13.8 million low - income households (constituting 11.9 percent of all U.S. households) already spend more than 4.5 percent of their income on water, and the share of U.S. households with unaffordable water bills could triple in the next five yea rs if current projections are unchanged. Figure 4.3 Bureau of Labor Statistics Source: , Consumer Expenditure Survey 94

99 These national trends come with unjust local impacts, for example in Baltimore, . The Mary land water bill of $787.58 in Baltimore today is more than twice the 2009 level average annual residential ($347.28). Rates are projected to continue increasing such that, by 2022, the average residential bill will be more than three times the 2009 level. To make matters worse, the Baltimore wate r utility’s response to this crisis of affordability makes households, the situation more inequitable. In 2015 and 2016, the utility shut off water to about 6,600 impac ting more than 16,000 people, and sold tax liens for about 1,700 homes because of unpaid water bills. A tax lien sale is a process where a city sells the right to collect delinquent taxes or other unpai d charges to private parties in an auction, and the private parties then have the right to file a foreclosure lawsuit to collect the unpaid charges. The city’s water bill collection practices are thus directly contributing to foreclosures and homelessness. Water shut - offs are a disturbing trend unfolding across the country. In Detroit, 27,000 households drawing criticism were disconnected from water service in 2014 for having unpaid bills, from the United Nations Special Rapporteurs for the Human Right to Water and Sanitation and for the Right a mother of five, grandmother of two, and member of Michigan to Adequate Housing. As Valerie Jean, Welfare Rights Organization describes this broadening crisis, “It was one thing to know that you our didn't have water and you couldn't afford your water. It's a whole other to find out they shut off y entire community and none of you matter.” 12 percent water shut off While , other parts of rate across the city Detroit continues to experience a the country are faring even worse. According to Mary Grant of Food and Water Watch, some communities in Lo uisiana and other parts of the south are facing shut off rates of 20 percent or more. Disconnection of water service has been shown to have serious public health impacts, including a higher incidence of acute gastrointestinal illness. The driving force behind these shut offs are municipal budget deficits that have been prompted by the politics of austerity and privatization. A 2017 report also found that federal assistance to local - adjusted terms since its peak in 1977, even as pipes water systems had fallen 74 percent in inflation are aging and infrastructure investment needs ar e rising. This leaves water utilities in the difficult position of choosing between not making the needed investments, or making the investments and raising rates to recover costs. The problems are more acute in economically depressed areas where a combina tion of low household incomes and declining populations reduce revenues from ratepayers, worsening the financial picture for water utilities. Sometimes, utilities under financial pressure are pushed to privatize their water systems in response, in the mi staken belief that an injection of private capital will solve the underlying problems. However, private water utilities have a strong financial incentive to raise rates even as they reduce costs by providing inferior service. Large privatized water systems , on average , charge 59 percent more per - These costs are falling disproportionately on low unit of water than large publicly owned systems. income households and create a system of regressive user fees for water services. 95

100 rural communities often lack ing access to piped water and Poor face the additional problem of study shows that, while only about 0.5 percent of the U.S. place. A 2016 sewage systems in the first ked access to complete plumbing, the corresponding percentages are 0.45 percent for population lac White people, 0.78 percent for Black people, 1 percent for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific op 20 counties in the Islanders, and 2.89 percent for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. Of the t U.S. by percentage of households lacking access to complete plumbing, 13 counties had a majority Native American or Alaskan Native population. Fourteen of these counties had 10 percent or more of ete plumbing. The the population lacking access to compl worst affected areas were all rural, and on average, the percentage of rural households without access to plumbing infrastructure was twice the percentage of urban households without access. An ongoing public health crisis in rural Lown des County, Alabama, has brought national attention to these inequalities in access to water and sanitation. Lowndes County has a median household income re than half the of $27,914 (little mo of $55,322) and is 74.6 percent U.S. median household income Black. Lowndes County native Catherine Flowers, a mil itary veteran and founder of the Alabama Center for residents do no ’s county Rural Enterprise , estimates that 80 percent of the t have access to public sewage systems and have to dispose of their own sewage. In some cases, they are legally required to do so. However, according to Flowers, a septic tank system can cost up to $15,000, which is unaffordable for many county residents. These residents often resort to directly piping sewage from their homes and dumping it in open pools outdoors, often in close proximity to their homes. During more prevalent heavy rains — a phenomenon that will become in the America n Southeast with climate change — sewage backs up into people’s houses. Because septic tanks can overflow and back up during heavy rains as well, even households that can afford them are not always better off. Besides the daily indignity of living with constant exposure to raw sewage, Lowndes County residents shows that hookworm, face greater risk of disease as a result of the lack of sanitation. A recent study a parasite associated with poor countries in the Global South and thought to have been eradicated in the U.S., has reappeared in Lowndes County . Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty , visited Lowndes County last year to document the incidence of extreme poverty in one of the world’s richest countries. His preliminary report findings In Alabama, I saw various houses in rural areas that were surrounded by “ that: cesspools of sewage that flowed out of broken or non - existent septic systems. The State Health Department had no idea of ho w many households exist in these conditions, despite the grave health consequences. Nor did they have any plan to find out, or devise a plan to do something about it. But government built since the great majority of White folks live in the cities, which are well served by and maintained sewerage systems, and most of the rural folks in areas like Lowndes County, are Black, the problem doesn’t appear on the political or governmental radar screen. ” 96

101 Another particularly dangerous water safety issue is lead contamination. Children can ingest lead from various sources, including drinking water as well as lead paint and contaminated soil. Lead exposure is unsafe for children at an y level and even low levels can harm brain development. four million families with children are being exposed to high levels of According to the CDC, at least dren under six have blood lead levels above the level at lead and approximately half a million U.S. chil which CDC recommends public health actions. The Flint Water Crisis gan, was under the control of an unelected “emergency manager” when the city decided to In 2014, the city of Flint, Michi switch its water source from the Detroit Water System to the Flint River. This move poisoned the city, a community of almost 99,000 with a 42 percent poverty rate and in which 54 percent of residents are Black and 40 percent White. Flint residents have struggled for decades with the human costs of deindustrialization and divestment, which have undermined the city’s physical infrastr ucture and tax base. Like many U.S. cities, Flint has a legacy of lead piping and soldered lead joi nts in its water system. Nationwide, the prevalence of lead pipes is unknown, but estimated to be widespread. The Flint River was also highly polluted, and Flint authorities to treat the water properly by removing contaminants failed - corrosive agents. Consequently, pollutants in the water corroded the pipes, leaching lead into the wate r. and adding anti Shortly after switching water sources, General Motors (GM) complained that the water was rusting its car parts. GM was permitted by the city to return to the Detroit Water System. However, when Flint residents complained about foul odor and taste, as well as suspicious behavioral and health problems, the authorities dismissed their complaints. It took a year and a half for authorities to acknowledge that there was a problem with the water and switch back to using Detroit water. for unpaid bills for poisoned Adding insult to injury, the City of Flint sent thousands of residents disconnection notices water. The fact that Flint is a poor, majority Black city and under Emergency Management rather than democratic representation evidently made its resid ents’ concerns easier for authorities to ignore. Emergency management forces cities to prioritize balanced budgets and repayments to Wall Street lenders over human lives. It neutralizes democratic processes, and ignores local impacts of public policy. (S ee section on Coastal Impacts below for similar policies forced upon Puerto Rico.) Under emergency management in Flint, saving money outweighed the environmental destruction of a city and the poisoning of its residents. Rather than empowering families alre ady denied equal opportunity, emergency management concentrates the costs of decades of divestment onto them, as well as the water they drink, the air that they breathe, and the land that they live on. As Claire McClinton from the Flint Democracy Defense L eague says, “They could not take our water away without taking our democracy first.” In the wake of these multiple crises, Flint residents began organizing on the ground. Water You Fighting For and the Flint in this resistance force, which articulated three demands: extending Democracy Defense League were prominent voices Medicare for all people impacted by the water crisis, eliminating the office of the Emergency Manager in Flint, and declaring the city a disaster zone to access more federal funds to repl ace their water system. 97

102 Water Pollution Mainland Gas and Oil Production and Transportation While there is failing infrastructure in poor cities and counties across the country, there has been a boom in infrastructure to support oil and gas production and transportation. Fracking, the process whereby water, sand , and chemicals are injected into rock formations to extract natural gas and oil, has become widespread in the p ast 15 years. Fracking has in fact driven U.S. domestic oil and gas production. Total U.S. production grew only 3.7 percent between 1970 and 2007, but then natural gas grew 34.5 percent from . Because of th is fracking boom, the United States is now the 2007 to 2017 world’s largest producer of both oil and natural gas. This ha s come at an immense cost to the environment and to exposed populations. Fracking uses — up to 13 million gallons large quantities of water per well in the Eagle Ford region of Texas — a major concern in regions where freshwater is scarce and likely to become even more scarce due to grou climate change contaminates both . Fracking also ndwater and surface water . Proximity to ding congenital heart defects, high , inclu risk - fracking wells is associated with negative health effects pregnancies, premature births, asthma, cancer, and neurological illnesses. large releases It also more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. quantities of methane, a known for - The dangers of fracking have been well some time, but “ regulatory capture ” by oil and gas interests enabled fracking to grow unchecked. Congress and the EPA ignored evide nce of fracking - related water contamination from independent scientists and EPA whistleblowers and exempted fracking operations from a number of environmental laws. More generally, the pipeline infrastructure required to transport oil and gas that is pro duced in the as well as U.S. poses serious threats to the climate, water quality, and public health, through leakage catastrophic spills. significant oil and gas leaks or ruptures 5,712 Between 1998 and 2017, there were s . on U.S. pipelines, causing 307 fatalities, injuring 1,263 more, and costing $8.0 billion in damage These incidents also released toxic chemicals in soil, waterways, and air. The proximity of pipelines to freshwater sources is particularly dangerous, since leaks of pollutants into water can spread large distances and affect drinking water sources for downstream communities. For example, a 2010 oil on the Kalamazoo River and pipeline spill in Michigan carried pollutants 35 miles downstream resulted in the water treatment system for the Village of Romeoville, Michigan, being shut down temporarily because of water safety concerns. Research has shown that groundwater contamination decades from pipeline spills can persist for . unities of color, including income communities and comm Pipelines also often pass close to low - Native American nations. This has led to historic protest movements opposing the controversial Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, which have evolved into broad movements demanding indigenous sovereignty. 98

103 The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a planned pipeline with a capacity of 570,000 barrels a day, intended to carry oil extracted through fracking in North Dakota. Studies indicate that this oil may be more volatile than most crude oil, and therefore more susceptible to e xplosion and fire risk. Initially, plans for the pipeline had it passing through Bismarck, N orth Dakota , a town that is 91 U.S. median percent White and has a median household income of $60,320 , greater than the household income of $55,322 . The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided to reroute the pipeline nex t to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation , where t he poverty rate in the Standing Rock Sioux Nation was 43 percent in 2012, or almost three times the rate for the U.S. as a whole. The adverse impacts of the pipeline on the people of Standing Rock extend beyond measurable economic and ecological impacts to encompass issues of indigenous sovereignty, religious freedom, and cult ural self - determination. The pipeline route traverses areas sacred to the Sioux peoples, “rich in history,” and “rich in cultural and religious significance,” according to a court filing . However, as the Tribal Government explains in the court filing, the Corps of Engineers process for determining pipeline construction on historically and culturally significant sites excluded the impact of the from meaningful participation. Repeated attempts by the Tribal Government members of the Tribe to intervene in the process were ignored. The U.S. overnment’s actions fit into a long pattern of g intentionally depriving indigenous peoples of their rights. ere are grassroots and indigenous connections being made across the geography At the same time, th crosses from North Dakota through the Midwest to the Gulf of these pipelines. The path of the DAPL Coast of Louisiana. There, indigenous community members and activists have atte mpted to block this last leg of the DAPL by purchasing a swath of land along the proposed route of the pipeline. Cherri Foytlin is an indigenous environmental activist from Louisiana and mother of five who has been working with communities along the Gulf C oast from Florida to Texas. As she explains, “This pipeline will go through Bayou Lafourche, which provides drinking water for at least 300,000 people, Choctaw Tribe that live on including the United Houma Nation. Also, a band of the Biloxi - Chitimacha - the Isle de Jean Charles are the first domestic climate refugees. Native American communities are getting pushed to the end of the earth in Louisiana. They’re losing their culture again. People can’t do ht 11 acres of land that we’re hoping the what they grew up doing, they are no longer free. We boug pipeline will try and run through. We’re committed to holding that space and banding together with others who are having their land expropriated.” Offshore Oil Drilling and Spills Offshore drilling presents a se parate and grave threat to coastal communities through catastrophic oil spills. Between 1964 and 2015, there were 2,441 spills from offshore oil drilli ng operations in U.S. territorial waters, discharging almost 5.2 million barrels (218 million gallons) of oil. Of these spills, 17 were of 1,000 barrels or more. The 4.9 million barrel Deepwater Horizon “BP oil” spill off the coast of Louisiana in 2010 was responsible for almost 95 percent of all oil spilled in all U.S. offshore drilling oil spill in the ent ire history of offshore operations between 1964 and 2015. It was also the largest oil drilling worldwide. 99

104 The spill started with an explosion, killing 11, on British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform on April 20, 2010, and was not successfully capped until July 15, 2010. The 87 - day period that it t ook to finally cap the well shows the inherent risk in offshore oil operations. In its 2011 report to the President, the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Ho rizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling observed , “The technology, laws and regulations, and practices for containing, responding to, and cleaning up spills lag behind the real risks associated with deepwater drilling into large, high - pressure reservoirs of oil and gas located far offshore and thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface.” of the spill included death and impairment of large numbers of fish, birds, and Ecosystem impacts other ocean life, and massive (a precursor to coral reef collapse). Between 600,000 coral bleaching an d 800,000 birds died, and migratory pelicans took the toxic residues with them all the way to Minnesota. As the oil slick washed up on shore, beaches and wetlands were damaged. The spill also had serious public health impacts on emergency response and cleanup workers, and on coastal communities more generally. Initially, cleanup workers were not provided with personal protective equipment guidelines, and up to 50,000 workers were exposed to chemicals that dam age lung tissue. on fishing and tourism dependent communities are estimated to reach $8.7 billion Economic impacts by 2020, costing 22,000 jobs. A t its peak, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) closed as much as 37 percent of the Gulf fishing zone because of toxicity concerns, seriousl y affecting the livelihood of people dependent on fishing, shrimping, and oyster farming. A large segment of the Gulf Coast fishing community are immigrants from V ietnam and Cambodia. Native American communities such as the United Houma Nation also faced a from disproportionate impact the loss of fishing livelihoods. Seen in this light, the U.S. government’s recent decision to allow offshore oil drilling along about 90 pe rcent of U.S. coasts is nothing short of reckless. The offshore drilling plan highlights once again how private profit often overrides every other consideration in government decisions. Coal Ash S pills Another serious water pollution impact from the fossil fuel life cycle is the threat of toxins from coal ash ash, the solid residue from coal combustion, entering surface water and groundwater. Coal and is stored in surface pits or ponds. contains heavy metals and other carcinogenic pollutants, The Sierra Club estimates that there are 1,100 coal ash sites throughout the U.S., and power plants year. The toxins from coal ash can gradually leach into produce about 140 million tons of coal ash a water bodies and groundwater, or get released in catastrophic spills, both of which pose threats to water quality. 100

105 - in County, Kentucky, A particularly egregious coal ash spill with long lasting effects occurred in Mart a rural county with a median household income of $29,052 , which is barely more than half of the g a water emergency that has been nationwide median household income. Martin County is facin escalating since a massive coal sludge spill by the Massey Energy Company in 2000. Massey was fined $5 600 for the spill, amounting to less than 2 cents for every 1,000 gallons of coal sludge that was , spilled. Meanwhile, residents have experienced water outages, low water pressure and discolored water that smells of chemicals or sewage for years. In January 2018, some households were without water for nearly three weeks. Despite the widespread poverty, the Martin County Water District is proposing a 49.5 percent rate hike. The current as well as the proposed rate structure charges commercial users less per gallon than what households pay for failing water service. Massey Energy, the company responsible for the spill, is no stranger to controversy. It operated the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, where a 2010 explosion took the lives of 29 miners, making it the worst mine disaster in decades. Federal investigators had charged the company with safety violations numerous times, but evidently, the company found it cheaper to cut corners on safety. The CEO of Massey Energy, Don Blankenship, was convicted of conspiracy to willfully violate mine health and safety standards and sentenced to one y ear in jail and a $250,000 fine — a small price to pay for knowingly endangering lives to save money. In an illustration of the grotesque inequalities in our political system, a completely unrepentant ginia. for the U.S. Senate in West Vir Blankenship is now running Superfund Sites The long history of environmentally destructive practices in the U.S. has left a legacy of severely contaminated sites. In 1980, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), co mmonly known as Superfund , mandating a process for remediation of the most severely contaminated sites. soil, surface The residual contaminants from these historically polluted sites are mostly found in the into surface water, and impact water, and groundwater. Toxins in groundwater, in turn, can migrate safety of drinking water . the The demographics of the population living in close proximity to these Superfund sites shows how environmental contamination intersects with racial, economic, and other forms of inequality. A 2015 analysis EPA found that the population within three miles of highly contaminated “Superfund” sites was 45.7 percent non - White , significantly higher than their 36.7 percent share of the U.S. population. Families in which the adults speak limited or no English made up 12.3 percent of households within three miles of the sites, compared to just 8.6 percent in the U.S. population as a whole. While people of color are disproportionately exposed relative to their share of the overall population, the . White population within three miles of Superfund sites is still majority 101

106 Water Scarcity As the world warms, certain regions, including the Western United States, are experiencing water - term scarcity and facing a longer of “chronic, long - duration hydrological drought.” threat Water scarcity has devastating socioeconomic impacts, p articularly on rural communities with an agriculture dependent economy. One study estimated that the 2015 California drought caused - losses of $2.74 billion and cost nearly 21,000 jobs, accounting for both direct impacts on agriculture and indirect impacts on other sectors (for example, industries that provide goods and services to agriculture). The direct agricultural jobs impact alon e was about 10,100 jobs, almost 5 percent of occupations California’s employment of 215,000 in agricultural . l The average hourly wage of all agricultural workers in California, and of the two largest agricultura occupations, are compared to statewide average hourly wage for all occupations in Figure 4.4. Job losses in agriculture affect low - wage workers who are least able to afford extended periods of joblessness. Figure 4.4 Bureau of Labor Statistics . Source: Hourly wages do not provide the full picture of farmworker poverty, because a majority of farm work is seasonal. Nationwide , about 60 percent of farmworkers are seasonal, and 23 percent have a family - income below the Federal poverty threshold. Almost three quarters (72 percent) of farmworkers are , wage foreign - born, with 68 percent born in Mexico and 3 percent born in Central America. This low - vulnerable, majority Latinx immigrant workforce will bear the brunt of loss of livelihoods from water scarcity in the Western U.S. 102

107 Coastal Impacts: Sea Level Rise, Storms and Floods A warming world causes sea levels to rise, for reasons that include melting of land - based glaciers in the thermal expansion of water. On average, the global average the Arctic and Antarctic, and sea level ha risen about 7 s 8 inches since 1900, and is expected to rise between 4 ft. and 8 ft. by 2100. A 2014 - study estimates that 3.6 million people in the U.S. live in areas that will be submerged by a 4 ft. sea level rise, and 9.8 million people live in areas that will be submerged by 8 ft. sea level rise. an Already, indigenous Alaskans are seeing their villages sinking into the sea, threatening their culture and way of life. These are low income communities, often without access to running water and flush toilets. In a tell ing sign of how such communities are treated by the U.S. political system, the f ederal government proposes eliminating the meager $19.9 million in funding to assist these communities with relocation and adaptation, even as it provides $20 billion annually in subsidies to the fossil fuel se ancestral lands. companies whose business model is literally drowning the A rising sea will also inevitably worsen the impact of catastrophic events such as hurricanes, since nd further inland, affecting larger populations and more the resulting storm surges will exte infrastructure. High rainfall and high wind speeds are a serious threat to human life and health, and to essential infrastructure. The intensity and frequency of hurricanes and the amount of associat ed rainfall are to increase in a warming world. projected As with other environmental crises, the impacts are unequal in racial and income terms. When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, the Exxon refinery in Baytown experienced leading to storm damage leaks of toxic chemicals. Of the two census blocks immediately adjoining the refinery, one is 87 percent non - White and 76 percent low income and the other is 59 percent non - White and 59 percent low income, according to the EPA . The stark racialized injustices perpetuated by the punitive immigration enforcement system were also in evidence during Hurricane Harvey. The Border Patrol checkpoints continued to operate - on highways being used by people evacuating from the hurricane affected zone, so undocumented immigrants had to choose between risking their lives o r getting deported. One of the gravest domestic human rights crises of 2017 was the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Almost the entire island of Puerto Rico lost access to electricity after the hurricane, and only 43 percent of the island’s residents had access to electricity two months after threatening situation for residents who rely on the hurricane, a life - dialysis or oxygen. By way of 85 percent of the world’s population has access to electricity. comparison, about The loss of electricity shut down most hospitals and clinics, with only three major hospitals on the water and island functioning three days after the hurricane. The loss of electricity also shut down sanitation systems. The Federal response was excruciatingly slow, with the Federal Emergency e disasters (Harvey in Management Agency (FEMA) stretched thin by having to respond to multipl It took a full week for FEMA to start delivering Texas, Irma in Florida, and then Maria) in short order. 103

108 to residents of the outlying islands of Vieques and Culebra. (Vieques was the site of a U.S. fresh water .) Navy live weapons testing range that has left a toxic legacy As of October 1, two weeks after Maria, half of Puerto Ricans still did not have access to piped water, November, 9 percent of the population (about 300,000 people) did not have their access and by mid - rivers and lakes, to water restored. Many people were forced to rely on untreated water from increasing the risk of waterborne diseases. While disruption of operations at public health laboratories on the island have made it difficult to track the resulting spike in disease, there have leptospirosis been 121 cases of and four fatalities from it since the hurricane, compared to a usual rate of about 60 cases annually. nonexistent Internet access in Puerto Rico was after the storm, making it impossible for people to communicate with loved ones in the midst of a crisis. It remains a problem for much of the island today. heat wave after the hurricane. Th e public health impact of Maria in Puerto Rico was compounded by a ty, residents had no access to air - conditioning, a dangerous situation for elderly Without electrici A people and people with health vulnerabilities. analysis indicates as many as 1,0 5 2 New York Times people may have died as a result of the hurricane. This disaster occurred against a pre - existing backdrop of disenfranchisement and inequality. The percent nationwide 43.5 percent Puerto Rico’s poverty rate in Puerto Rico is . compared to about 13 is barely more than one - third of the U.S. median household $19,606 median household income of of $55,322. income The delay in restoring essentials such as electricity and water is partly attributable to t he poor state of the island’s infrastructure, which has not been maintained over a decade worsened by imposed austerity policies that prioritize payments to lenders over the well being of Washington - that set up a financial control board Puerto Ricans. In 2016, Congress passed a bill called PROMESA to restructure Puerto Rico’s economy to pay debts to Wall Stree t. But because Puerto Rico is effectively a colony of the United States, without voting representation in Congress and without the right to vote in Presidential elections, Puerto Ricans had no voice in the creation of this board, and it Jesús Vázquez is not accountable to the Puerto Rican people . , a food Organización Boricuá of sovereignty organization in Puerto Rico, says that , “the control board has a lot of pow er over us, including the power to eliminate environmental laws, and to sell public land to pay the debt.” 104

109 Interview with Jesús Vázquez of Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica - Organización Boricuá works on food sovereignty and agro ecology in Puerto Rico. It is a member of the international peasant movement La Via Campesina, and the Climate Justice Alliance. Jesús Vázquez describes the relationship between austerity measures, Hu rricane Maria, and militarism in Puerto Rico. “We import approximately 80 percent of our food. Before the hurricanes, we were already facing an economic crisis caused crisis inside the crisis,” lifting the by bad government decisions, corruption, and hedge funds. The hurricanes have been a “ existing crisis. But we knew it was there, because we were living it constantly. We’ve become even more - veil on the pre cause they dependent because of damage from Hurricane Maria. Agroecological farms had less erosion be - import - preserved traditional peasant knowledge of how to make farms weather resistant. For example, because of our African heritage we grow a lot of root vegetables. Before the hurricanes hit, farmers cut branches from those plants, leaving only k above ground, which resisted the winds and kept growing. So some farmers were harvesting food shortly after the a stic hurricane. These small farms bounced back faster, but there’s no government policy or incentive supporting them. The government supports conve ntional monoculture farming dependent on external inputs such as genetically modified seeds. Since the hurricane, we’ve organized brigades where local activists and international solidarity delegations go to farms to farms and also hold dialogues on issues facing us such as PROMESA, and workshops work on the land and help restore the on agro - ecological practices.” He continues to describe the history of the military in Puerto Rico: “We were subject to the draft, and many Puerto Ricans fought and died in U .S. wars. There are also U.S. bases in Puerto Rico. Half the island of Vieques was used for bomb testing. After a big struggle, the base was closed. But the military left behind a lot of radioactive and other contamination, so the struggle isn’t over yet. Vieques has high rates of poverty, unemployment, and cancer. The U.S. military as well as corporations have a history of using Puerto Rico as a testing ground. Agent Orange was first tested in the Puerto Rican rainforest before being sprayed in Vietnam. Bi otech companies such as Monsanto and Bayer are using thousands of acres of the best farmland on the island to experiment on genetically modified seeds, even as Puerto Rico has a problem of food insecurity. They’re also using a lot of chemicals like Roundup that have been demonstrated by the World Health Organization to be harmful for human health.” After disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, communities are faced with the daunting task poor people have fewer resources , which is inherently unequal and not just because — of rebuilding with which to rebuild. Protection against property damage caused by disasters such as hurricanes is mostly available in the form of privately purchased homeowners insurance, and a disproportionate income people and people of color do not own their h number of low omes. Blacks make up just 9 - percent of all homeowners and 21 percent of renters, while Native Americans constitute 0.8 percent of homeowners and 1.4 percent of renters. 105

110 Section III: Access to Clean Air of environmental well being, and low - income people and Access to clean air is an important indicator - people of color are disproportionately more likely to have to breathe polluted air on a routine basis. burning power plants and trash incinerators are disproportiona tely Polluting facilities such as coal - income communities with high concentrations of people of color, directly affecting - located in low ) their air quality. For example, combustion of fossil fuels leads to emissions of nitrogen oxides ( NOx and sulfur dioxide ( SO ), both of which aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions. 2 A 2017 by the NAACP and the Clean Air Task Force documents concrete local examples of report these disparities. A particularly egregious example is West Port Arthur, Texas , whic h has a 95 percent - Black population and houses two large oil refineries. Some low income public housing facilities directly touch the refineries, which routinely emit pollutants linked to cancer, birth defects, and reproductive disorders. EPA data identify West Port Arthur and the county in which it is located as among the worst areas nationally for toxic emissions. Black residents of West Port Arthur have a cancer rate 15 percent higher than the statewide average, and a death rate from cancer 40 percent gher than the statewide average. When Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, West Port Arthur was one of hi - hit communities, again revealing how people who have contributed the least to climate the hardest e extractive fossil change, while living daily with the adverse side effects of th fuel economy, often pay - the highest price for climate change impacts. Siting disparities also exist in the location of oal mining sites in Appalachia. A c mountaintop removal Appalachian 2011 found that the adult poverty rate in counties with mountaintop removal study mining was 25.4 percent in 2007, compared to a rate of 18 .9 percent in the Appalachian region as a whole, and 15.3 percent in Appalachian counties without any mining operations. As noted in the discussion of Superfund sites earlier, while disparity of environmental impacts are in general highly racialized, th is does not mean that low - income majority - White communities are safe from the effects Naoma, of disparate toxic exposure. For example, the mountaintop removal affected community of 97 percent W est Virginia , is . White Subsequently, a 2014 study found that the higher concentrations of particulate matter, an airborne pollutant produced during mountaintop removal, is linked to the increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, birth defects, cancer, and mortality in communities located near a aintop removal operation. Mountaintop removal mining also mount contaminates surface water with pollutants such as selenium, iron, a nd aluminum, and debris from mining has completely blocked over 2,000 miles of streams and headwaters that communities depend on for their drinking water. e unequal exposures to harmful environmental impacts by race and income outlined above Th Asthma manifest themselves in starkly unequal health outcomes for poor people and people of color. has a well established link to atmospheric pollutants. 106

111 Figure 4.5 Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Figure 4.6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Source: 107

112 Figure 4.7 Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The higher incidence of asthma among people of color and poor people leads to higher rates of (2.9 times higher for Blacks (3.4 times higher for Blacks than for Whites) and death hospitalization than for Whites). The data show a similar disparity in death rates by gender (1.3 times higher for females than males, and 1.6 times higher for adult women than adult men). ore absences from school, and consequently, Higher incidence of asthma among children leads to m poorer educational outcomes for children of color as compared to their White counterparts. Similarly, lower income people lose proportionally more workdays because of asthma related - come people, leading to greater economic insecurity for a population hospitalization than higher in working in low - wage jobs, and often lacking access to paid sick days. In addition to air quality and health impacts, the proximity of communities of color and low - income polluting facilities adversely impacts property values in these communities. communities to Consequently, property tax revenue decreases, leading to less funding for public schools in these communities. ional outcomes, and property The far - reaching impacts of air quality on childhood health, educat values (and consequently, community wealth) illustrate how our economic and political system is designed to produce adverse outcomes for poor people and people of color, that keep them locked in ple also shows how systemic p — roblems need systemic solutions an oppressive reality. This exam one cannot effectively address childhood asthma, educational disparities, and community wealth disparities in isolation from each other. 108

113 Section IV: Extreme Heat As a consequence of climate cha nge, extreme heat waves are expected to increase in frequency and intensity, resulting in increased deaths . Low - income people and people of color are more exposed to conditions exacerbating the extreme heat, such as living in urban areas without adequate risks of green space and other infrastructure disparities. Blacks are 52 percent more likely than Whites to be exposed to heat risk, and th e corresponding numbers for Asian Americans and Latinx are 32 percent and 21 percent. Populations with limited access to air - conditioning are more vulnerable, because they are less able to mitigate extreme heat. Low ortionate share of their income households already pay a disprop - income on electricity bills compared to higher income households (Figure 4.8), and may in the future and have to choose between paying to keep the air - conditioning running, which could be a life - - death issue, and paying for food. Al ready, there is a crisis of utility disconnections affecting low income communities and communities of color. Figure 4.8 . Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 109

114 The Climate Change Impact of the U.S. Military Section V: In 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) was responsible for emitting greenhouse gases 66.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, which was 72 percent of the U.S. equivalent to government’s total emissions of 91.7 million metric ton s. Despite this, the DoD is allowed to exempt its emissions from its overseas operations from the U.S. g overnment’s emissions reduction goals (which means that the U.S. military’s emissions from overseas operations are not counted towards the U.S. g overnment’s total emissions). In 2016, these exempted emissions accounted for the majority of DoD emissions ( 37.3 milli on metric tons, or 56 percent) . history The of how this exemption came about is instructive. The U.S. negotiators for the 1997 Kyoto talks insisted on this exemption, and obtained it, at the urging of the military. Now, all climate militaries worldwide are exempted from counting their emissions from overseas operations in their withdrew respective nations’ emissions reduction goals. To add insult to inj ury, the U.S. from the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. the ir overseas It is also noteworthy that the most destructive operations of the U.S . milita ry — operations, which include devastating wars and military bases that are an affront to other countries’ sovereignty — are precisely the operations that are exempted. As extreme fossil fuel extraction multiplies under the current admi nistration, along with gross inequalities in the resulting pollution and public health impacts, and as climate disasters such as hurricanes and forest fires grow in frequency and intensity, there will be an inevitable escalation of social movements led by frontline communities, demanding justice, dignity, and even the right to survive. These movements led by frontline communities represent humanity's best hope of building a future where everyone has access to clean water and clean air, and everyone gets to live in healthy, just communities. 110

115 How Militarism of Law Enforcement Enables Ecological Devastation The overfunding of the U.S. military has contributed to a creeping militarization of the entirety of American society. One example of this militarization is the transfer of surpl us military equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies at , night vision goggles low cost (and sometimes for free). Consequently, local law enforcement agencies are now armed with resistant armored trucks with ambush protection body armor , and even mine - . are weapons of war which raises the question, who are these police departments going to war with? A part of These — the answer is that they are using these weapons to intimidate and terrorize peaceful protesters, whether it’s Black Lives , Missouri, or water protectors in Ferguson Matter protesters in . Standing Rock The growing militarization of law enforcement, and their evident willingness to use their military equipment to terrorize where the fossil fuel oligarchy and their political backers will increasingly try to silence peaceful dissent, points to a future opposition to get away with their destructive agenda. In this way, the militarization of law enforcement can enable more pposition. environmental injustice by silencing the o Garett Rappenhagen, an Iraq War veteran who joined the delegation from About Face: Veterans Against the War to “Our Standing Rock, connects this deeply concerning trend to the broader dependence on oil and polluting industries: sil fuels in America is so predominant that we have spent an insane amount of military assets to protect it addiction to fos the drilling, the supply, the trade, and pathways for fossil fuels. And here we are again in another brutal occupation that’s - not in Iraq or the M iddle East, but in our own country, against our own citizens, people who have lived generations before White people arrived, fighting against these same mechanisms, the same corporations, the same government agencies, onialism. There is a direct relation to my fight in Iraq for oil and these people's fight to try and stop this environmental col s going here against oil...This is something that is not just affecting the natives that live here but this affects all of us and it' to reach everywhere in the world. And it's going to target poor communities everywhere. These sheriffs and National Guardsman are local, many of them live here in this state and this county. So if the water supply is contaminated their veterans] feel that we are duty bound to come here and stop it.” children are going to be drinking poisoned water. [We 111


117 in this report make clear, the systemic As the data need for transformative action on the issues of racism, systemic poverty, militarism, and ecological destruction is as urgent today as it was in 1968. — All Americans s — share a common interest in tackling these regardless of their race, gender, or clas systemic problems in order to prevent our democracy, our society, and o ur planet from destruction. To combat any one of these four problems requires changing the underlying structures that have produced all of them. We need to overcome the silos and other divisions that have splintered social movements and hindered their prog ress. We also need to raise up the power of the people most a ffected by these problems to counter those at the top who have rigged the rules in their favor. In the coming months, the Institute for Policy Studies will continue to work with the Poor People ’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival , which is building a state - based moral movement where poor and impacted people are joining together to address these interrelated issues. From May 13, 2018 , to June 23, 2018 , the Campaign will enter into a season of moral resistance, c oordinated across the problems six weeks will focus on plaguing our at least 25 states and Washington , D.C. These society and the brilliant leadership emerging in communities of struggle across the country. In 1968, Jimmy, a youth participant in the Poor People’s Campaign from Marks, Mississippi, testified and Welfare. “We have to think about changing things, before the Department of Health, Education , he said, “’cause if we don't, they’re going to get worse. Like the air bein g polluted; you think we want to breathe that? And the water, too — we like to go swimming, and we’re going to go swimming...Yes, sir, things are going to be different.” cognizing that This is the kind of moral courage and clarity arising in this moment, 50 years later, re things have become worse. From east to west, north to south, in cities and countryside, there is a moral movement afoot with and impacted people in the lead. We know from history that when poor those most impacted by injustice band together with moral leaders, clergy, activists, and all people of conscience — that is when we can make a change. That is when our country gets better for everyone, not just a select few. Forward together, not one step back! 113

118 APPENDIX 1: MAJOR SHIFTS SINCE 1968 In the 50 years between 1968 and 2018, there have been large shifts in the fights to end racism, poverty and inequality, militarism and the war economy, and environmental destruction. There have been periods of progress and periods of retreat. Some of our work toda y is to learn from and defend what movements before us have won. 1980 - : The 1968 Poor People’s Campaign begins in a period of momentum toward tackling 1968 racism, militarism, and poverty, aided by the civil rights movement and the programs of President Jo hnson’s “War on Poverty” (which gave us food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, and expanded Social Security). Rev. Dr. King, alongside grassroots leaders like Peggy Terry (Jobs or Income Now (JOIN), - Chicago); Myles Horton (Highland Folk School, TN); Reies Tijeri na (Chicano and Indo Hispano Movements, New Mexico), Robert Kennedy (New York Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate), Marian Wright Edelman (Children’s Defense Fund), and Johnnie Tillmon (National Welfare Rights Organization) began to organize with poor and marginalized communities across racial and geographic divides to confront the underlying structures that perpetuated misery in their communities. While the U.S. wars in Indochina ramp up military spending and spark a massive anti - , and environmental patriarchy, militarism her movements to fight poverty, racism, war movement, ot destruction expand. Awareness of planetary limits grows, and regulations are passed to protect the environment. The so called “war on drugs” ushers in an era of mass incarcer ation, disproportionately - punishing African - Americans, that gives the U.S. the highest incarceration rate in the world. The 1980s : Under the rhetoric of “free markets,” the United States (with Ronald Reagan), the United Kingdom (with Margaret Thatcher), G ermany (with Helmut Kohl) and other countries elect conservative governments dedicated to cutting regulations and taxes and increasing military spending. These governments enable corporations to shift operations overseas, weakening the government protections. Inequality rises, wages stagnate, and poverty power of unions and - held belief that poor increases. The era of Reagan’s “Welfare Queen” mythology ramps up the long people, especially Black single mothers, are poor due to bad character rather than a regr essive distribution of wealth and systemic racism. A growing environmental movement puts climate change on the political map. 1990 : There is a brief period when the Berlin Wall topples, when the Soviet bloc that justified 1989 - massive U.S. military budge ts is dismantled, and the United States contemplates a massive shift in priorities. Pundits called it the “peace dividend,” and military spending is cut for the first time in years. ar in Kuwait and Iraq, and 1991, President George Bush launches the first Gulf W The 1990s : In 1990 - there are drum beats for war and for new increases in military spending. Then, under eight years of deregulation of the economy with President Clinton, the economy grows but so does inequality. zation erupt. But with growth in government and other jobs, the Movements against corporate globali racial income gap narrows and poverty begins to fall. The impact of a cruel welfare reform locks in 114

119 women by gain in the attack on single mothers and Black the turn of the century, and poverty rises a the 2000s. Disparate race and class impacts of environmental destruction begin to get recognition. 2008 : As 9 - 2001 - 11 stokes Islamophobia and offers the “war on terror” as a new enemy to replace xpand quickly under eight years of the communism, the military budget and deadly new wars e second President Bush. A global peace movement pulls in movements against poverty, racism, and environmental destruction as millions oppose war. A crushing financial crisis spreads around the - 2009. globe in 2008 2009 2016 : President Obama is elected into the Great Recession, which destroys the already low - wealth of Black and Latinx families and widens the racial wealth gap even as White families are also impacted There is an increase in the policing of po or people an d the resurgence of debtors’ prisons. . Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Eight million jobs are destroyed and wages stagnate while the Fight for $15 and other movements f or the rights to water, health care, living wages, immigrant , right The Moral climate justice and indigenous sovereignty and more flourish. women’s rights, s Mondays/Forward Together movement emerges as a fusion movement in North Carolina. tic and Environmental, LGBTQ, and workers movements win some victories, as the voices of domes restaurant workers gain visibility. 2017 onward : President Trump is narrowly brought into office, after record - low voter turnout and losing the popular vote. The White House and congressional Republicans enact a law that slashes taxes on corporat ions and the wealthy, adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt and endangering funding for Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and other anti - poverty programs. The bill also repeals part of the Affordable Care Act, which will result in 13 million people losing health insurance. The stock market responds by continuing to grow amid rapidly escalating inequality. - won civil rights protections and long - standing voting The rich get richer, the poor get prison, newly rights are rolled back, and deportations in crease. Women’s rights are threatened, wars expand with threats of nuclear war, and the Trump administration begins to stack the courts with conservative judges and dismantle 50 years of hard - won environmental protections. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Mar ia vividly illustrate the profound racial and economic inequalities of climate change impacts. movement connections. Resistance movements take to the streets with growing cross - 115


121 117

122 118

123 The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival had assembled an Audit Committee that has been involv i Latinx people were also counted as part of the White and Black populations, which explains why the numbers do not sum to the total. 119

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