Broadcaster Tavis Smiley And Cornel West Take "Poverty Tour” To Battleground States

Special to the Daily World

WASHINGTON, DC ( — While the nation awaits the imminent release of the latest numbers on poverty from the U.S. Census Bureau, broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Princeton University Professor Emeritus Cornel West, hosts of the nationally syndicated public radio program Smiley & West from Public Radio International (PRI), are once again bringing national attention to economic injustice by announcing “The Poverty Tour 2.0.”

“The Poverty Tour 2.0” will be on the road September 12-15, 2012 visiting four battleground states: Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida, continuing the moral crusade to make the eradication of poverty a top priority in America – a clarion call to President Obama and Governor Romney as the race for the White House heats up.

“We expect that the forthcoming census data will reveal that poverty in America is not an abstraction; too many Americans are living hand to mouth,” said Cornel West. “Basic needs such as living-wage jobs, food, clothing, medicine, and shelter cannot be ignored by the major parties during the upcoming political conventions, or by their respective nominees on the campaign trail.”

Both Smiley and West have been consistent whistle-blowers on the topic of poverty.

According to last week’s Associated Press article, “Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor. More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market, leaving them vulnerable as unemployment aid begins to run out. Suburbs are seeing increases in poverty including in political battlegrounds [states]…”

During “The Poverty Tour 2.0,” Smiley and West will host FREE and open to the public, solution-providing town hall meetings that will broadcast LIVE on multiple platforms including USTREAM, radio and social media. They will also upload podcasts. In addition to inviting local families, community organizers, job cooperatives, elected officials, war veterans, and religious leaders, the major presidential candidates will also be invited to participate.

“It is our intent that in the sprint from Labor Day to Election Day, poor people do not get trampled on or left behind,” said Tavis Smiley.

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