June 15: March For Our Lives: Road to Change. Starting in a Peace March in Chicago, the students bused to 20 states and 75 cities to “get young people educated, registered, and motivated to vote.” They pointed out that more than four million teens turned 18 in 2018 and Jaclyn Corin said in email, “We know there is no better way to bring about change than voting.” They described their effort as “a youth-led movement on a mission to elect morally-just leaders.” (The simultaneous Poor People’s Campaign also emphasizes the morality issue.) Tactically savvy, they partnered with Rock The Vote, Headcount, NAACP and Mi Familia Vota, They encouraged students to form intersectional activist clubs in their schools based on relationship building. They sponsored a petition that got hundreds of thousands of signatures, created merchandize to buy, and reached out to partner with gun violence prevention organizations.[i] “Price tags” calculated the amount of money that politicians accepted from the NRA, state by state, to be printed out and displayed. The campaign’s specific goals are to create “a searchable database for gun owners; funding the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence so that reform policies are backed up by data; and banning high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic assault rifles.”
A current urban poverty program is underway in Stockton, California, where the 27-year-old mayor, Michael Tubbs, started a universal basic income pilot program. One hundred residents receive $500 a month checks for up to 18 months, funded by the Economic Security Project. Tubbs said, “My hope is that it will create such a buzz at the state and national level we’d have to have a conversation about expanding it to everyone, no matter what city they live in.”[i] He was raised in poverty by a single African American mother but earned a scholarship to Stanford University. Tubbs also backs the Advance Peace program that provides mentors and stipends to rehabilitate violent criminals and organized an NGO called Reinvent Stockton Foundation.
[i] Alex Langone, “Why This 27-Year-Old Mayor is Giving His City’s Poorest Residents $500 a Month,’ TIME Money, April 17, 2018.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) will announce the introduction of the Employ Young Americans Now Act—which would provide $5.5 billion in immediate funding to employ one million young Americans—at a roundtable discussion Wednesday.