The Wausau Poor People’s Campaign supports the Community for All resolution before the Marathon County Board.
We would ask the county supervisors to please reexamine their role as a governmental representative for the people of Marathon County.
Their governmental mission statement reads, in part, ” provides services and creates opportunities that make Marathon County and the surrounding area a preferred place to live, work and do business.”
As governmental representatives in our Republic, they are obliged to strive to create a level playing field by countering systemic inequalities and discrimination. This is fundamental to our designed system of checks and balances.
This means they are obliged to build “the bottom up.”
Considering the extent and growth of inequality in our country, this is a humbling and daunting mandate, frequently resulting in controversy and tension. But it is their mandate.
Nationally, since 1989 the top 1 percent has gained over $24 trillion in wealth while the bottom 50 percent has lost over $1 trillion. Most of the bottom are composed of people who look like most of the people on the board. And the people who don’t look like them are grossly and historically overrepresented by double digits.
In Wausau, the poverty rate exceeds the state’s by 5o percent. Fifty-five percent of all Latinex people and 76 percent of single women with a child under 5 years old live in poverty, a strong indicator of the health and equality of a community. And maintaining such drastic impoverishment devours challenged budgets, costing trillions to U.S. taxpayers.
This reality cannot be explained by debunked and dehumanizing race and sex- biased theories of intelligence, culture of poverty, group stereotyping or individual faults.
This reality can only be explained by looking at who has benefitted the most from dividing and impoverishing us.
Being poor is neither a weakness nor a crime, but a result of an unequal and immoral system disproportionately favoring the wealthy and powerful.
The board has before them in this resolution, the declaration of a deliberate intent to check and reverse this growing historical imbalance.
We implore the board members to declare their commitment to equality and fairness as you so mandated by their role of governmental representative.
When the bottom rises they are making our county a preferred place to live, work and do business as it will become unquestionably apparent that they indeed support a community for all.
They must live up to their responsibility, not down to the inhumanity of hatred and inequality.
Bruce Grau of Wausau
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