Washington, D.C., October 8, 2020 – A diverse group of Christian leaders from the Circle of Protection released a video of Democratic presidential nominee, Vice President Joe Biden, discussing the specific steps he will take to address hunger, poverty, and racial inequity in the United States if elected. The release of the video comes on the heels of the first 2020 general election presidential debate, in which no questions were asked about the dramatic increases in hunger and poverty due to the COVID pandemic.
The video comes from remarks Vice President Biden delivered at the “Moral Monday Mass Assembly and Teach-In of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival” in September. Biden was introduced by Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the Campaign and a signer of a Circle of Protection letter to presidential candidates asking their policy recommendations to address hunger and poverty. Biden highlighted the need for good jobs for low-wage workers, investments in infrastructure – including in communities of color and low-income neighborhoods, education opportunities for all, and universal preschool.
The video is shared with thousands of churches and worship groups across the country, as well as with the general public at http://circleofprotection.us/2020-elections/. Circle of Protection leaders will continue to request a response from the Trump campaign that will also be shared.
Quotes from Circle of Protection Co-Chairs.
Rev. Eugene Cho, President and CEO of Bread for the World: “As Christians, we are called on to help our brothers and sisters in need – this includes electing wise and just leaders who will offer hope for those who are vulnerable or marginalized. People need to hear how candidates plan to address these issues, especially in this time of COVID when so many are suffering so they can make an informed decision when they vote.”
Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, President-elect, Sojourners: “Issues of hunger and poverty are almost always left out of the conversation during presidential debates. But as Christians we are called to bring good news to people living in poverty. That means asking questions and holding candidates accountable around the issue of most concern to the 34 million Americans currently experiencing poverty.”
Rev. Jim Wallis, Founder, Sojourners: “Vice President Biden’s remarks are the most substantive we have heard from a major party presidential candidate in decades. He calls our attention to the systemic nature of hunger and poverty in this country and acknowledges the deep reforms needed to overcome these intrenched systems. He also connects the impact of systemic racism to poverty—which is key in an American context.”
Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Co-chair of the National African American Clergy Network: "Racism is a major cause of poverty in this country, and we have asked the candidates to address it.”
In each of the last three presidential election cycles, the Circle of Protection has asked candidates to produce short videos that explain what they would do to “offer help and opportunity to poor and hungry people.” In 2012, both President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney provided videos. In 2016, nearly all of the primary election candidates made videos, including Hillary Clinton. Clinton and Donald Trump also provided statements to the Circle of Protection during the 2016 general election. In the 2020 election cycle, most of the Democratic primary candidates provided videos, including Biden.
The Circle of Protection includes leaders from the National Council of Churches, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Catholic Church, among others.
The Circle of Protection is a coalition of diverse Christian leaders working together for help and opportunity for hungry and poor people in the United States and around the world. www.circleofprotection.us