More than 100 people will rally at Vancouver City Hall on Monday at 11 a.m. to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the MLK Day Unity Against Poverty March.
Monday’s rally, free and open to the public, was put together by the Vancouver-based charity Concerned Humans Against Poverty — formed last year by director James Tolson.
Tolson said most people forget that the final weeks of King’s life were spent organizing a march on Washington known as the “Poor People’s Campaign,” a multiracial effort to bring economic justice to people of all races.
“The people we help are from all races, ethnicities and age groups,” Tolson said.
The event’s keynote speaker, Vancouver City Councilor Anne McEnerny-Ogle is among a politically diverse list of community leaders which includes Vancouver NAACP President Bridgette Fahnbulleh and Republican County Chair Marc Boldt.
Tolson, who managed Kaitlyn Beck’s run for the State Legislature which was suspended when Beck’s grandmother fell ill, said poverty is a cross-cutting issue, it’s not just a red or a blue issue or an inner-city or suburban issue.
“We’ve lost four people to exposure to the cold within the first 10 days of 2017. We need now more than ever to show that poverty is a bipartisan issue,” Tolson said.
The MLK Day Unity Against Poverty March planned for Jan. 16 has undergone some last-minute changes due to the recent weather patterns.
On their Facebook page, the charity group Concerned Humans Against Poverty announced that the march following the speakers has been canceled.
CHAP explained on their event page that the icy conditions could cause people to slip and fall, creating unfavorable circumstances for the march.
The charity group still encouraged participants to come and enjoy the speeches, free hot drinks, and other planned activities as scheduled.
The Independent originally published that Kaitlyn Beck’s campaign was unsuccessful in unseating fellow Democrat Sharon Wylie. The article has been updated for clarity and accuracy.