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Kentuckians Support Poor People's Campaign with Car Caravan at State Capitol

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Margaret O'Donnell
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Kentuckians pushing to lift people out of poverty and guarantee access to voting took part in a car caravan in Frankfort on Monday.

The Poor People’s Campaign organized car caravans in more than 25 states, including Kentucky, in an ongoing series of nationwide demonstrations the group calls "Moral Mondays." 

Kentucky supporters of the Poor People’s Campaign made their voices heard by driving in a "pandemic safe" caravan around the state capitol.

The caravan was followed by an outdoor news conference and two members of the group - wearing masks - going into the building to deliver printed copies of 14 demands to state legislators. Those demands are related to social justice and ending poverty. 

Joyce Adkins drove alone from Bowling Green, instead of carpooling during the pandemic. She said one of the priorities is to make sure everyone can take part in democracy. 

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Credit Margaret O'Donnell
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Michael Gramling of Bowling Green, at right, took part in a car caravan and press conference at the Kentucky State Capitol on March 15, 2021 as part of a nationwide event organized by the Poor People's Campaign.

"Our emphasis is on voters and the laws that are being passed around the nation that are geared toward voter suppression," said Adkins.

She also said the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package just signed into law is a sign of progress in fighting poverty, but is only temporary. 

“We need a lot of that to be permanent, like the child tax credits, so that we can actually keep the poverty rate down," said Adkins. "You know, you don’t want to take some people out of poverty and then drop ‘em right back in.”

Adkins said there was a time in her life when she was living below the poverty line. After retiring from a career in social work and health education, she said she’s continuing her community service by supporting groups like the Poor People’s Campaign.

The Poor People’s Campaign was initiated by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. just months before he was assassinated in 1968.

Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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