National Civil Rights Rooted Nebraska Poor Campaign Gathers at State Capitol

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LINCOLN — Nearly 50 Nebraskans gathered on the steps of the state capitol for a “Moral Monday” demonstration to help state legislators influence voting rights, transgender children, gun control, and a proposed sub-minimum wage. He said he would not remain silent about his actions. for young people etc.

The event was organized by the Nebraska Poor Campaign, which represents the local revival of the national network founded by civil rights leader the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

Nebraska Poor Campaign
The Nebraska Poor Campaign rallied at the State Capitol on Monday, April 17, 2023. (Cindy Gonzalez/Nebraska Examiner)

Angela Montalvo of Ogallala, a member of the coordination committee, said, “We are a new destabilizing force that has arisen to disrupt the flow of status.

Prior to the rally, the group held signs inside the State Capitol with messages such as “Living Wage” and “Stop War, Feed the Poor” to warn state legislators about specific bills. They were handing out lists of “requests” and positions. who will meet them

Outside, Sen. Tony Vargas of Omaha appeared to be the only member of Congress to stop by.

Similar rallies are being held in various other states, Montalvo said. She said the Nebraska group formed in 2020 but is more aggressive this year, given high-profile legislation related to topics such as voter ID, abortion, a ban on gender-affirming care, and child care subsidies. plays a role.

Lincoln Reverend Zach Wolf said: “A place that cares more about the bottom line of a business than the concrete lives of voters.”

He said those who resist “returning to the Wild West” are called ignorant and told to keep quiet.

During the rally, a dozen Nebraskans stood up and shared their personal experiences and the impact of certain laws and state policies on their families.

Sierra Edmisten of Hastings said she was a working mother whose family suffered from “food insecurity”. She and her husband sometimes had to choose which to eat that day, she said.

Edmisten opposed tightening eligibility levels for state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Reverend Zach Wolfe of Lincoln on the Poor People’s Campaign. (Cindy Gonzalez/Nebraska Examiner)

She said she had already had to forgo a pay raise she should have been “celebrating” in order to stay within SNAP’s eligibility limits.

Grand Island’s 15-year-old Emma Haar opposed a bill that would pay minors less than the minimum wage in Nebraska.

“It saddens me to know that I have to come here again and again … for the basic human rights of teenagers,” she said.

Other speakers included Blanca Mejia, founder of Generation Diamond. Generation Diamond is a South Omaha-based organization that helps people who are homeless or out of prison trying to find a job.

She said many see poor people as “losers.”

“Really, you don’t know their story,” she said, adding that there are many reasons why people are poor. To tell.

Mejia turned to the State Capitol and said, “Do something about it.”

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