Economic Human Rights Bus Tour, California, May 29-31, 2001

Jeff Perlstein | 09.01.2001

Compiled by Jeff Perlstein, September 2001, Policy Brief No. 5

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself (herself) and his (her) family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services.” – Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948

The gap between the richest and poorest Americans continues to widen, dividing the body and soul of this nation. The economic and social policies of the United States government perpetuate these growing income disparities, often in clear violation of the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the human rights oftens of millions of struggling Americans.

Inspired by the principles embodied in the UDHR, Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy, organized the 2001 Economic Human Rights Bus Tour in California. This tour documented the dire need for government policies that respect, promote, and fulfill the human right of every individual to food, housing, health care, education, and a living wage.

The 2001 Economic Human Rights Bus Tour in California was a part of Food First’s national campaign, Economic Human Rights: The Time Has Come!, to spur legislative action that meets the needs of the nation’s poor. The tour called for:

  • Truly adequate federal funding for education, health care, and childcare.
  • A minimum wage that is a living wage.
  • Measures to address the relationship between race and poverty.
  • A re-ordering of federal priorities toward meeting the needs of the nation’s poor.
  • Ratification of the International Covenant for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.

In the coming months Food First will continue working with policymakers, and grassroots and community-based organizations to ensure everyone’s right to an adequate standard of living. Our goal is to build a national movement to demand social and economic human rights in the United States.