A positive response to the Bannon-Trump White House, the Destructive Disposition of his Cabinet members and the dangerous choices being considered by Congress


December 13, 2016

Editor’s note: We are pleased and grateful to post this call to action by Kenan Heise, a Chicago journalist who has for decades illuminated the lives of poor people in his morally powerful writings. He has written for the Chicago Tribune and other major daily papers; he founded the “The Neediest Children’s Christmas Fund” in 1969 with the help of other reporters. Now run as the WGN Neediest Kids’ Fund, it has raised more than $60 million over the years. His work is all about justice as well as charity, showing the human truths underlying the need for a government role to alleviate poverty. It is not surprising that Kenan remains on fire with the need for committed activism in defense of low-income people in this very challenging time. We are proud that in this piece he urges people to work through the Coalition on Human Needs. Please look for more posts from Kenan Heise as a guest blogger for Voices for Human Needs in the coming days and weeks. (Kenan Heise is the author of several books, including The Book of the Poor (2012) and his autobiography, He Writes About Us (2015), both published by Marion Street Press.)

Our strength, we know, lies in our togetherness, our numbers and our goals.

“We are good, moral and caring people because we believe we are not better than others.”

  1. There are 67 million of us Americans who voted against what the Trump administration is intending to do. The question is how to unite these individuals into a force that has the spirit of human rights and equality expressed in the Declaration of Independence. And it is for them to protect the mandate in the Constitution to be “we the people,” “to promote the general welfare,” which is specifically charged in it for the government to raise taxes to do so. It is further our mission to make certain that in Abraham Lincoln’s terms “That government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from this earth.”
  1. The Trump Administration does not appear to believe in any of these ancestral demands the Founding Father made of future generations. They see things through the eyes of billionaires, generals, deniers of climate change, critics of our scared public school system, plunderers of our natural resources and those people who no longer respect the hard facts and evidence of reality. They threaten to diminish the rights of women, minorities, immigrants, workers, the sick, the poor and those who society has left behind. They would misuse our military might and destroy any equality in tax system.
  1. Our goals tend to be the opposite of theirs and the time is short in which to protect them.
  1. And, yes, we can do that.
  1. We must find opportunities to attach ourselves to the individuals and the groups that are dedicated to do so.
  1. We are coalescing, but not nearly fast enough. We need to seek out the trustworthy media and social networks to find others and to unite our efforts.
  1. We cannot let ourselves be overwhelmed.
  1. We need to start now to re-energize our political parties and those organizations whose missions are caring, justice and equality and help them expand. Now is the time to help select potential candidates for local and national offices.
  1. We need to stand fast on behalf of the many human rights and human needs organizations that will be part of an army to do battle. Let’s build them up, contribute to them and urge unity leading to actions at every level.
  1. Many of these organizations are awaiting your membership and support.
  1. Let your fear, anger and frustration push you toward them and to take an active part in them.
  1. One organization central to all that needs to be done: the Coalition on Human Needs. Founded in 1981, the Coalition represents 100 organizations, establishes communications between them and lobbies Congress and the Administration on behalf of low-income and other vulnerable people. It invites you to:
      • Take its “Pledge to fight back against dangerous choices being considered by the new Congress and the new Administration.”
      • Read its stories of the people and organizations that are doing something.
      • Get its four times-a-week email on what is about to happen and what responses are being proposed.
  1. Its website provides you with an opportunity to join.Strengthening America’s Values and Economy (SAVE) for All This is a coalition of national, state and local advocacy groups, service providers, faith-based organizations, policy experts, labor and civil rights groups working to protect important services from harmful federal budget cuts and to save the federal capacity to spur economic recovery and progress for the benefit of all.

One big thing you can do right now: Go to the Coalition’s Facebook page, on which you can with the tap of your finger allow every one of your Facebook friends discover the Coalition on Human Needs.

human needs organization
Poverty and Income
tax policy