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Ohioans Join the Kick Off of the National "Poor People's Campaign" in Columbus

photo of Poor People's Campaign rally
JO INGLES
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for Americans living in poverty in what was called the “Poor People’s Campaign.” Advocates for poor Ohioans todaysay the problems that existed are still common. So they're relaunching the effort.

Pastors and other advocates kicked off a 40-day campaign at the Statehouse. They sang songs, carried signs and listened to speakers. Pastor Thomas Barnes of the Kemper Road Church near Cincinnati says this is one of more than 30 events that he says will focus on non-violent activism.

“Sit-ins as we go forth, and to just civil disobedience. We are going to kneel down and pray in the presence of those individuals to let them know that it is through prayer that we owe a first approach in trying to address this issue,” Barnes said.

The nationwide effort calls for sweeping legislative changes including an end to gerrymandering and so-called right-to-work laws, full funding for federal anti-poverty programs, changes in immigration laws, and bans on assault weapons and fracking.