Waging War on Poverty Is About Class Identity – an interview with Cheri Honkala

Cheri Honkala: The co- founder and national coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign and vice president of the Green Shadow Cabinet. Cheri is nationally and internationally respected for her anti-poverty work. Honoring the legacy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign of 1967-68 Cheri inspires a new generation of leaders working to end poverty.

In this exclusive interview, Dennis Trainor, Jr. and Cheri Honkala discuss the Earth Day to May Day Climate Convergence, the U.S. Social Forum, and what motivates a life of social justice organizing.

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Is Minimum Wage Another Distraction? Let’s talk Basic Income, Shall We?

Cheri Honkala of the Poor Peoples Economic Campaign and Vice President of the Green Shadow Cabinet joins the host Dennis Trainor, Jr. and the Resistance Report panel (Nicole Carty (The Other 98%), Julianna Forlano (Absurdity Today) and Joel Northam (Acronym TV Contributor) – to discuss the jobs crisis in the United States, the perpetually underemployed, and the impact of a raise in the minimum wage versus a policy that guaranteed an income for all.

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U.S. Social Forum is Coming to Philadelphia

The US Social Forum taking place in Philadelphia summer of 2015 is a convergence driven by the understanding that people’s movements are what create social change.  It is an opportunity for regional and issue-specific social justice projects to work towards broader unity.  The goal is to map out action plans for a cohesive movement and organize to be on the offense against all forms of oppression.

The USSF is the next most important step in our struggle to build a powerful and inclusive movement that transforms this country and the world.  We will reach far and near to lift up our people so that they can be heard and know they are not alone.  Through learning together we will tear down divisions and put into practice the idea that ‘Your Fight Is My Fight’.

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SUIT ALLEGES ST. PETERSBURG CITY COUNCIL VIOLATED SUNSHINE LAWS

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kirsten Clanton (352) 271-8890
St. Petersburg, FL (November 21, 2013): Rev. Bruce Wright filed a lawsuit today against the City of St. Petersburg alleging violations of Florida’s Sunshine Law by the City Council. The lawsuit alleges that the City Council decided to amend a city trespass ordinance in a meeting that was closed to the public. The City held a closed attorney-client session to discuss a federal lawsuit related to one of its city ordinances and during that session exceeded its authority by deliberating and deciding to amend the ordinance. The City’s vote to amend the ordinance was public after it came out of the closed session, but it never held public discussions or deliberations about the amendment, which violates Florida’s Sunshine Law.

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WE ARE HUNGRY

YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY HUNGER
80,000 Philadelphia children will miss at least one meal today.
A quarter million of your Philadelphia neighbors are worrying about getting dinner tonight.
Philadelphia hosts some of the hungriest congressional districts in the nation.

TO US, FINE DINING MEANS A SQUARE MEAL.
As the situation becomes more dangerous, public health declines and disease spreads.
Studies prove that school violence increases when food stamps run out before the month ends.
We are desperate from hunger.The worse form of violence is poverty.
MAYBE YOU’RE DOING WELL TODAY.  
But without a fair economy giving us all the chance to live well, you could fall into this gap.
Some of us used to shop where you do.
 UNEMPLOYMENT IS UP. Philadelphia’s 350,000 unemployed are 23% of the city’s population.
 MINIMUM WAGE BUYS LESS.   Spending power of the working poor decreased 25% since 1968.
 FOOD PRICES RISE.  Since 2008 food prices are up 12%, adjusted for inflation.
 FOOD STAMPS ARE SUDDENLY CUT 5%, with more cuts pending,
31% of Philadelphians rely on food stamps.  Nationally, 80% on food stamps are employed.
 FOOD PANTRIES ARE HALF EMPTY.
In 2010, nearly half of food pantries turned people away because they ran out of food.
People line up before dawn hoping to get groceries.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
HIRE US at a liveable wages.  Our talents will surprise you.
Many of us are registered at the Peoples Emergency Center. pec-cares.org
ASK YOUR GROCER TO ALLOW GLEANING OF “EXPIRED” FOOD.
One third of America’s harvest is trashed.
DONATE to FOOD PANTRIES. 
There are over 700 in Philadelphia. hungercoalition.org
DONATE to ORGANIZATIONS that plant fruits and berries in our city.
PLANT EDIBLE LANDSCAPES AROUND YOUR HOUSE.  Edible perennials are both pretty
and nutritious.  Invite free harvest by hungry neighbors.  The regional food movement starts at home.
DEFEND FOOD STAMPS. Ask Congress to protect SNAP from further cuts.
Right now, House and Senate members are considering $4 billion to $40 billion in cuts to SNAP
over the next decade. About 3.8 million Americans could be cut from the program entirely.
And 210,000 low-income children could lose access to free school meals.
ENDORSE A PHILADELPHIA LAND BANK
that converts vacant lots into greenhouses, gardens and orchards.  groundedinphilly.org
ASK CITY HALL TO HIRE US TO BUILD AND MANAGE GREENHOUSES.
Pay us with home purchase credits, health care, community college credits, and food.  phila.gov/green
ADVOCATE FOR EDIBLE PARKS.  Philadelphia has the largest urban park system in America.
Many other cities are now planting fruits and nuts. Philadelphia has recently begun.
MOVE YOUR MONEY FROM WELLS FARGO TO A COMMUNITY BANK.
Four million Americans have been evicted since 2008.  Small banks are less quick to foreclose.
JOIN A COMMUNITY SUPPORTED FARM or GARDEN.  farmtocity.org 
Support the efforts of the organized poor to put an end to hunger by supporting the 
advocacy efforts of the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign.