Ohio Poor People's Campaign Makes Case To New Legislature

Feb 11, 2019

The Ohio Poor People's Campaign is kicking off their efforts for the new legislative session this week.

The campaign wants a restoration of the Voting Rights Act, an end to gerrymandering, and a minimum wage increase, among other legislative changes.

Chair Rev. Joan Van Becelaere says even though the midterm elections did not shake up the Ohio legislature, she believes there will be more receptivity to her group's message this year.

"Even though the - on the outside, the makeup looks much like it did last session - I really do believe that they can feel the energy and know that these are now issues that we need to discuss," Van Becelaere says.

The group will deliver letters and an updated list of demands to the Speaker of the House, Senate president and some committee chairs on Wednesday.

Last year, the Poor People’s Campaign held a 40-day long campaign, based on civil disobedience modeled after Dr. Martin Luther King’s campaign 50 years ago. In June they held a “die in" on the steps of the Statehouse to protest environmental, health and tax policies they say are killing poor people.

The month before they were peacefully removed from the Statehouse by Ohio Highway Patrol troopers when the building closed.