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2002-03-07

Stopping the War On the Poor: After Hundreds Storm the Conservative Heritage Foundation, Oneof the Country’s Leading Conservatives Agrees to Walk in Poverty’s Shoes

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As Democracy Now! reported yesterday, hundreds of poor people from across the country occupied the Washington-basedheadquarters of the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday. In a surprise action, the group rushed past security, downhallways, and toward the reception desk, where they demanded to meet with welfare policy analyst, Robert Rector. Thegroup said that they would not leave the building until Rector and his colleague, Jason Turner, agreed to spend twodays visiting poor neighborhoods and "walking in poverty’s shoes."

Rector is a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a self-described conservative think tank. His work onwelfare reform ­ specifically marriage promotion and work requirements ­ has been extremely influential and is echoedthroughout the President’s welfare plan.

Yesterday’s action at the Heritage Foundation capped off a day of marches, rallies, and protests organized by theNational Campaign for Jobs and Income Support. The Campaign is a national movement of grassroots organizations thathave come together around the upcoming reauthorization of the 1996 welfare reform act. Other actions on Tuesdayincluded a take-over of the Democratic Leadership Council and a rally in front of the Health & Human ServicesCorporation.

Tape:

  • The Storming Of The Heritage Foundation

Guests:

  • Deepak Bhargava, director of the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support.
  • Robert Rector, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation

Related links:

Special thanks to Ingrid Patetta, Mint Leaf Productions, and Community Voices Heard for the video footage ofTuesday’s protest.


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