New Orleans City Council President to join fast to end Gov. Jindal’s starvation plan
Stand with Dignity leads rolling fast and campaign against Gov. Jindal’s food stamp work requirement
NEW ORLEANS, November 18, 2015—New Orleans City Council President Jason Rogers Williams will join faith and community leaders from NOWCRJ’s Stand with Dignity on Thursday in a 15-day rolling fast to end the hunger crisis created by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
“Our friends, neighbors and family members who rely on food stamp assistance to survive do not deserve to be penalized by our current governor’s continued attempts to bolster his conservative credentials,” Williams said in a letter to the Times-Picayune Wednesday.
Last week, Stand launched a rolling fast, a national petition, and an administrative complaint over Gov. Jindal’s refusal to apply for a waiver of work requirements for food stamps, which put approximately 64,000 Louisianans at risk of losing their food stamps benefits and going hungry.
“We call on Jindal to file the waiver immediately. It is not too late,” Williams said. “Join this movement to highlight how hunger is an issue here in our city that is known for its food and feeds the world.”
Fasters from Stand rallied at the governor’s mansion Monday along with labor allies, and continued their action outside the Gubernatorial Debate on Monday evening, pressing Louisiana’s gubernatorial candidates to support a living wage and end the work requirement for food stamp benefits.
Wednesday’s fasters include Justice and Beyond co-moderator Pat Bryant; musician, builder, and activist Zeo Boekbinder; anthropologist Jessica Anne Wheeler; and Ben Gordon of Pax Christi.
“Denial of food to poor families by Bobby Jindal is dumb and inhumane,” said Bryant. “I am fasting to get resolve to take action until all families’ food needs are met.”
Boekbinder said: “I’m fasting because Bobby Jindal’s plan is irresponsible and dangerous. Starving people will not create jobs, and it won’t support the health and safety of Louisiana’s low-income communities.”
“Access to food is a human right,” Wheeler said.
New Orleans Abortion Fund co-founder Amy Irvin, who joined the fast earlier this week, said: “Our governor puts personal political gain ahead of the well-being of Louisiana women and families. Not content to use his personal claims of being ‘pro-life’ to eliminate access to safe, compassionate abortion care—risking women’s personal and economic well-being in the process—his ‘starvation plan’ will deny food stamps to an estimated 64,000 Louisianans. We ask that the Governor apply for the statewide waiver of work requirements, ensuring food for Louisiana neediest, and support self-sufficiency by creating living wage jobs that offer quality healthcare.”
As Gov. Jindal continues to strip the remaining social safety net programs in Louisiana, Stand with Dignity is fighting back against these attacks on poor people, and requesting the state to immediately apply for the work requirements waiver and review its policies to comply with federal law.
Current and previous fast participants include Imani Jacqueline Brown, co-founder of Debt Fair and Blights Out; Don Everard, Director of New Orleans’ Hope House; Robert Goodman, member of Voice of the Ex Offender; Candidate for Louisiana State House Representative Alicia Plummer Clivens; Catechist at Saint Jerome’s Catholic Church Kevin Cahalan; Dominican Sister of Peace Lilianne Flavin, Tulane University student Nick Stracco; and Assistant Director for Mission and Ministry at Loyola University Alex Mikulich.
Video statements by the fasters are available online: http://bit.ly/1QixZPS
Stand’s campaign is using hashtags #LAFoodStampCrisis and #Fast2EndStarvation.
Contact: Colette Tippy, firstname.lastname@example.org, (504) 881-6550