EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.
This month, former Stockton, Calif., Mayor Michael Tubbs launched a campaign as bold as it is straightforward: End Poverty in California (EPIC).
The campaign shares its name with a movement led by Upton Sinclair during his 1934 run for California governor. In his novel The Jungle, Sinclair observed: “The rich people not only had all the money, they had all the chance to get more; they had all the knowledge and the power, and so the poor man was down, and he had to stay down.”
This dynamic persists to this day. Tubbs, who grew up in poverty before becoming Stockton’s mayor at just 26, calls it “the setup.” The “setup” traps people in poverty by design, through “separate and unequal schools, lack of health care infrastructure, no good jobs, prohibitively expensive higher education, over-policing” and much more.
Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.