Sojourners and Call to Renewal leads the way (again) with an initiative to refocus our national leadership on addressing poverty. Hurricane Katrina exposed the hiddenness of poverty. New Orleans is not an exception when it comes to rates and issues of crippling poverty in urban and rural areas. But New Orleans reveals what we need to see and respond to: poverty kills. The following pledge has been crafted to express a concern and commitment to address poverty anew. Once signed, it will be given to President George W. Bush.
Here is the pledge:
The waters of Hurricane Katrina have revealed fault lines of race and class in our nation, washing away our national denial about the large number of Americans who live in poverty and about its disproportionate impact on people of color. We have now seen, and so has the rest of the world, the effects of public policies that sacrifice the common good to private interests and misguided priorities.
In the aftermath of the storm's destruction, a new America must be born in which compassion and conscience reshape our society's priorities at all levels. Together we can transform our country into one where economic security for all is an essential part of our national security.
As a person of faith, I believe that the poverty we have witnessed on the rooftops of New Orleans and the devastated communities of the Gulf Coast is morally unacceptable. Therefore, I join my fellow Americans across the barriers of race, religion, class, and politics in the following commitments:
1. I pledge to be personally involved in helping those whose lives have been affected by this natural disaster - by praying for the victims and their families and by offering my time, talents, and resources to relief and recovery ministries that are meeting their needs.
2. I pledge to work for sweeping change of our nation's priorities. I will press my elected representatives to protect the common good - especially the needs of our poorest families and children - rather than supporting the twin social disasters of tax cuts for the rich and budget cuts that hurt the poor.
Here is the link to sign the pledge to be sent to President Bush.