I am the director of the Homelessness Marathon
, an annual, live 14-hour radio broadcast that focuses on homelessness and poverty in America (www.homelessnessmarathon.org
). Perhaps because my only role in the anti-poverty movement is communicating with the public, it has bothered me for some time that, unless one believes in ten-year-plans and police sweeps, there really isn't anything out there that we can say we all agree to as a movement. So I have drafted the Declaration of Principles below. I know it won't satisfy everyone or maybe even anyone, but I am hoping that it will provide a basis for discussion.
Is such a declaration needed? Does the draft declaration below really express what's right? What changes should be made? I would welcome answers to these questions and many others, including many that I probably haven't even thought of.
We have posted this declaration on the Homelessness Marathon's blog site and we invite people to post their comments there. The blog is at: homelessnessmarathon.blogspot.com
Sincerely,Jeremy Weir Alderson
Director, Homelessness Marathon
Declaration of Principles
We the undersigned believe that the elimination of poverty is a moral duty for society. We believe that fulfilling this duty makes for a better society. And we believe that there are many ways to fulfill this duty, but that all of them should be guided by these principles:
- 1. The most severe forms of poverty must be addressed on an emergency
- 2. National efforts to eliminate poverty must be funded through the national budget and must focus on changes in the system not in the poor. These changes should include:
- A universal living wage and universal health care
- A full employment economy.
- Investment in public housing and public transportation.
- Benefits for the truly needy that truly keep them out of need.
- Fair taxes on corporations and wealth.
- Recognition of food, shelter, health care and education as the rights of citizens.
- 3. Within these guidelines, we support a wide variety of approaches to poverty, including those based on charity, personal uplift, supportive services and economic opportunity.
Posted on behalf of Jeremy Alderson, per his request.