Making Poverty a Campaign Issue

A New Policy Team. This fall Call to Renewal gathered a group of experts on poverty and economics to help us formulate policy proposals to successfully combat poverty. Those who gathered in October—John DiIulio, Ron Thiemann, Ron Sider, and Wendell Primus—are part of a larger group who will regularly advise the Call on policy issues. The Call’s policy advisory group also includes such notable experts as Mary Jo Bane, Richard Parker, Brent Coffin, William Julius Wilson, Rebecca Blank, Marshall Ganz, J. Bryan Hehir, Donald Miller, and Paul Simon.

Roundtable on poverty. We convened in December the Call’s Christian Roundtable on Poverty, where we presented the recommendations from our policy advisory team to leaders of a diverse group of national denominations and church-related organizations. Representatives from World Vision, the U.S. Catholic Conference, the National Association of Evangelicals, the historic black churches, mainline denominations, and many others were there. They focused on the agenda created by the policy team and reached a historic agreement to support a "Covenant to Overcome Poverty." This covenant is now the focus of our effort to get poverty in the national election-year debate.

annual summit, feb.13-16. The Call’s annual Summit, "Poor No More: A National Summit on the Churches and Poverty," will take place February 13-16. We plan to use this Summit to bring new vision, organization, and inspiration to our campaign to overcome poverty. At the Summit, we’ll present the "Covenant to Overcome Poverty" to the presidential candidates, whom we’ve invited.

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Sojourners Magazine January-February 2000
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