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Duluth, MN

Frontline in War on Poverty

by Mick Kelly |
April 20, 2000
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Duluth, MN - Poor people here are mobilizing in a big way to fight the latest attacks on welfare by state politicians. Led by Low Income People Organizing for Power (LIPOP), poor people have joined the protests, hearings, and sit-ins at the State Capitol Building in St Paul.

Commenting on the February 1 Poor People's Rally, Dolly Clater said, "I thought it was great. It was powerful for all the different cities to come together and fight for changes in the inhumane and unjust way the system treats welfare recipients."

LIPOP brought a bus to the Capitol on February 1. They went all-out leafleting the welfare office and low income neighborhoods. "There was a wonderful turnout of support," said Linda Richey.

Poor people from Duluth were among those blasting Minnesota's welfare law, the Minnesota Family Investment Plan (MFIP) at hearings in the legislature. Along with recipients from other cities, they drove home the message, "MFIP is a disaster!"

"I believe the Senate hearings came out in our favor," said Derek Parker, LIPOP. He noted that it was a huge victory when the Senate voted against the 100% sanctions plan, which would completely cut some families off assistance.

Marvella Davis, LIPOP, was among those who chained herself to the entrance to Representative Goodno's office. Goodno is the author of some of the most serious attacks on the poor this legislative session. "I think the sit-in is an excellent way to show the politicians that we are serious about our belief that we have the same rights as non-MFIP recipients," said Davis.

Annabelle LaClaire stated, "I was really proud of the participants who did the sit-in at Goodno's office."