DES MOINES, Iowa -- Around 100 people from across the country came to Des Moines in an attempt to get the presidential candidates' attention.
"The Democrats are running from talking about poverty. The Republicans are racializing who is considered poor. Nobody is coming up with solutions, nobody is listening to the voices and demands of poor and impacted people," said Reverend Dr. William Barber/National Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.
The national and Iowa Poor People's Campaigns marched from First Christian Church on University Avenue to Drake University's Old Main demanding that presidential candidates have a full debate on poverty. Group leaders say both Republicans and Democrats are focusing their power on the middle and upper class while the poor continue to be neglected. Demonstrators carried a coffin on the march to signify the 250,000 people they say die every year from conditions of poverty.
Barber said, "Seven people die of vaping and it's a national emergency. Well, 600 people die a day because of poverty. It doesn't have to be this way and so we feel like we have to lend our voices to demand this debate."
The Poor People's Campaign will host a public meeting Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the First Christian Church.