At a time when jobs, education and social services are being cut in the name of the economic crisis, we face a critical need to build a social movement that extends beyond major urban centers. The rapid growth of the Tea Party demonstrates the urgency of poor and working people coming together across lines of race, language, religion, age – and geography.
This summer, 30 members of MMP’s Leadership Council, network and staff visited our brothers and sisters at the Somerset County Head Start in Somerset, PA; the Northeast Pennsylvania Organizing Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA; and the newspaper Pennsylvania from Below in Harrisburg, PA. We also met with community leaders from Williamsport, Pittsburgh, and Lancaster.
As one member of our Wilkes-Barre delegation commented: Poverty looks different in urban, rural and small-town contexts – but it’s pretty clear that the majority of people in our state are suffering. And it is also clear that the policies and conditions that affect us transcend the local level – which means that if we are to change them, our work must do so as well.
Photos by M. Azim George Siddiqui.