The Nebraska Poor People’s Campaign

The Nebraska Poor People’s Campaign mobilizes to address interlocking forces perpetuating poverty through continuous, strategic, community-building, and actionable work state-wide.

In partnership with the national movement, the NE PPC strives to dismantle systems reinforcing poverty: systemic racism, an economy supporting militarism vs. peace-building, the incarceration industrial complex, ecological devastation, and other exploiting forces unjustly privileging the well-resourced and well-connected at the expense of the poor.

34% of people in Nebraska are poor or low-income—a total of 642 thousand residents.

The Nebraska Poor People’s Campaign (NE PPC) is among the last of the fifty state chapters to be adopted—an outgrowth of the National Poor People’s campaign movement led by Reverends William Barber and Liz Theoharis. 

The movement’s impetus involves carrying the torch of Martin Luther King Jr’s unfinished vision. His intention, supported by his contemporaries, was to lead a non-partisan Poor People’s Campaign (King’s language) to end poverty.

Since the Civil Rights Movement, American quality of life reflects steady economic decline impacted by intersectional factors entrenching people in poverty.

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What is the Poor People’s Campaign Relationship to Stand in for Nebraska?

Since Stand in for Nebraska supports human rights advocacy efforts alongside impacted, multi-marginalized Nebraskans, it made natural sense to form an alliance with the National Poor People’s Campaign and establish the first Nebraska PPC chapter.

 

Through establishing ourselves as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Stand in for Nebraska was able to  incorporate the recently initiated Nebraska Poor People’s Campaign. Both organizations are laser-beam focused on challenge the many oppressive realities facing America’s poor through sustained, statewide advocacy, education, voter registration, and mobilization. Nebraska has missed many opportunities to ameliorate the effects of poverty on its citizens, and our group will demand policy changes such as expanded Medicaid and an increased minimum wage.

 

The statistics are climbing–where poverty reached nearly half of our nation pre-pandemic.. It’s clear Nebraska needs intensified forces to address and change the complex factors reinforcing poverty.

 

If you are passionate about ending food deserts, believe quality food and clean water are human rights, not luxuries in the most resourced nation in the world; if you are passionate about workplace safety for farm-to-table workers; if you are passionate about disrupting systemic poverty for way too many Nebraskans and working to secure living wages and a country where all can thrive vs. barely survive, you will find a powerful home in the Nebraska Poor People’s Campaign.

Compelling Nebraska Statistics
  • 34% of people in Nebraska are poor or low-income—a total of 642 thousand residents. This includes 47% of children (223 thousand), 39% of women (368 thousand), 64% of Black people (53 thousand), 63% of Latinx people (149 thousand), and 30% of White people (445 thousand).
  • From 1979 to 2012, income for the top 1% grew by 170%, while income for the bottom 99% only grew 25%.
  • 158, 000 people in Nebraska are uninsured as of 2018.
  • 25% of census tracts in Nebraska are at-risk for being unable to afford water.
  • Nonwhite school districts receive an average of $3,961 less in funding per student than white districts.
  • Over 2,000 people in Nebraska are homeless as of 2018.
  • Working at the 2018 state minimum wage, it takes 71 hours of work per week to afford a 2-bedroom apartment.
  • 422,000 make under $15 an hour–48% of NE’s workforce as of 2018, the 23rd highest of all states. The minimum wage in Nebraska is $9 in 2019. A living wage in the state in 2019 would be $24.75 an hour.
  • The richest 1% of Nebraska residents are expected to receive 26% of the GOP tax law’s benefits coming to the state. Nebraska’s richest 1% can expect an average tax cut in 2020 of $42,610, while the poorest 20% in the state can expect an average tax cut of just $80.
  • Nebraska’s contribution to the country’s endless wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond totals $33.2 billion since 2001, and could instead have created over 23,000 new jobs in clean energy, or placed every child in Head Start early childhood education programs, or covered Medicaid for over 432,000 adults for the past 18 years.
  • Nebraska has 33 ICE detention centers as of 2019, and over 15,000 immigration removal cases are currently pending in the state. Meanwhile, 60,000 residents of the state are undocumented, and 9% of K-12 students have undocumented parents.

 

              *Sources: Institute for Policy Studies, The Poor People’s Campaign, Kairos, and Repairers of the Breach     

Compelling National Statistics
  • Voting rights protections in many states are weaker than they were 50 years ago. 1 in 4 eligible voters isn’t registered.
  • The United States imprisons, detains and/or deports more people than any country in the world.
  • 53 cents of every federal discretionary dollar is spent on the military; only 15 cents goes to anti-poverty programs.
  • Native & Indigenous people are living with the ongoing legacy of genocide & systemic racism, with disproportionately high rates of poverty, homelessness, & overrepresentation in the US military, and continuous struggles to defend sovereignty & land rights.