Advocacy groups announce initiative to fight poverty

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Representatives of two of Birmingham’s most outspoken political advocacy groups got together at Kelly Ingram Park today. They announced their efforts to relaunch Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Poor People’s Campaign.”

Le’darius Hilliard, President of the Jefferson County Millennial Democrats, said they’ll be fighting poverty on several fronts in an each-one-reach-one style campaign.

Hilliard said they are ready to fight for fair wages and a better cost of living raise, as well as adequate insurance. Also on the agenda: protecting natural resources, specifically water, and fighting high water bills from the Birmingham Water Works Board.

Tomorrow morning, the groups are planning a protest at the water works board at 7:30 a.m. They want to make a statement that unjustified high water bills will not be tolerated.

Iva Williams, the Vice President of the Outcast Voters League is organizing that protest.

“The people that are affected most by the increased rates are poor people. So tomorrow in response to the Water Works Board overcharging the rate payers in the Jefferson County area, Birmingham, in response to them not issuing refunds, we’re going to impact their ability to take in money tomorrow by boycotting and protesting at the water works Board,” said Williams.

He said the protest will be shutting down the payment center, so they’re asking anyone who would typically pay their bill on Monday to wait at least a day before making that payment to avoid the inconvenience.

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