Remarks by Rev. Michael Livingston at Circle of Protection press conference upon release of videos made by the presidential candidates explaining how they will form a circle of protection around the most vulnerable.
September 12, 2012 – National Press Club
By the end of July, over 1 billion dollars had been raised, and most of it spent, by the presidential candidates, their respective parties, and just one primary Super Pac supporting each candidate. Fifty-five days from the election that number is much higher. Over a billion dollars! And our candidates have not been talking about helping the people of our nation, over 12 million of them children, living in the most desperate conditions.
Since the recession began in 2007 two congressional districts in the entire nation have seen poverty decrease significantly. In 388 congressional districts poverty has deepened. Our congress, our candidates are not talking about this. It doesn’t seem to matter. Shame on us.
Children and families living in poverty don’t have a Super PAC representing their interests, buying commercial airtime, making back room deals to improve their lot. Well, their interests are our interests.
People of faith in our congregations can’t compete with the shadowy contributions of millionaires hiding behind bad campaign laws. We can and do stand with people living in poverty and lift our voices on their behalf. And today we are asking the 350,000 congregations we represent in the U.S. to make hunger and poverty a core issue when they go to the polls in November.
Rev. Michael Livingston, former president, National Council of Churches and Director of National Public Policy, Interfaith Worker Justice