The Poor People’s Union was created in 2006 by a group of people who were, at the time, homeless, formerly homeless, living in poverty, or allies. The first major action orchestrated by the PPU, was to plan and launch Camp Quixote, now known as Quixote Village – an award winning housing model. The constitution of the PPU was written by a committee and ratified by the general membership. The following is the preamble to the constitution.
Classism is a reality. It is not an idea or theory. It is a day to day reality where some suffer so others can profit. This system is not permanent. It can be undone, but for that to happen class itself must be undone.
We believe in a world where rights are not given or taken away, but simply exist due to the fact that we are human beings.
We believe in a world where the right to live free of fear goes unquestioned and where we can be certain that in all parts of this world – the environment, every species of animal, and all human beings can coexist.
That world will never come if things are to continue as they are. We are here to organize for we are part of the societal organism, if one part is sick then the whole suffers. We will gain our rights not by having them handed to us, but by creating them for ourselves here and now. This is our mission, and it is guided by these points:
We deserve freedom
Freedom from fear, hunger, cold, helplessness, and the sickness that comes from living in a place where there are those who suffer.
We deserve opportunity
The opportunity to work, participate, prosper, and to create, control, and guide our own destinies.
We deserve shelter
To be out of the elements and to have the privacy so essential to personal and spiritual health.
We deserve safety
From the police, from those who hate and fear poverty, from sexual violence and from any form of bigotry whether based on class, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or any other label.
We deserve justice
In courts, in jails and prisons, and from the representatives of this city, county, state, and country.
We deserve happiness
We should have the opportunity to solve our problems, have the means to let them stay solved, and to move on with our lives in a way that is healthy, fulfilling, and complete.
We will accept nothing less. We are the Poor People’s Union, a union made up of people whose lives or consciousness has been touched in some way by poverty. We are made strong by the believe that quality is a reality if we as a society wanted and we cannot ask for it, but instead must make it for ourselves