Poor People’s Campaign kicks off annual MLK celebration week

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – The Unity Group of Chattanooga started the 51st annual Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration Week with the Tennessee Poor People’s Campaign Monday night.

In a virtual event, they laid out what they call their “14 policy priorities.”

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“Many of the policy positions are long-standing things that really have been ignored in our society,” Unity Group of Chattanooga Correspondence Secretary, Tennessee Poor People’s Campaign Member Eric Atkins said.

The priorities include raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour, quality health care for all and immigration reform.

“The bottom line is that we’ve got to close the camps, get those babies back with their families. It’s just not acceptable,” Lisa Rung said during the virtual event.

According to the campaign, there are around 140 million poor and low wage workers in the U.S.

Their policies they are calling on the new administration and congress to address.

Atkins said he felt as if many of the priorities will be.

“And, I know that is why we along with many of the 45 state coordinated committees across the country are advocating for them,” he said.

The event is part of MLK week.

There will be events starting now through MLK day on Monday.

This year’s theme is “Just Keep Moving.”

“Dr. King in 1967 I believe it was, was speaking to a group of Cleveland students, Cleveland, Ohio students and one of the things they told them is, if you can’t fly than run, if you can’t run than walk if you can walk than crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward and on this year we listen to Dr. King’s message and we hope that it resonates with the people of our city and, of course, everybody is that we must keep moving, we must keep moving to advance workers rights and women’s rights and ethical health care and housing and justice for all,” Atkins said.

This year all the MLK events will be virtual including the annual march on Monday.