Global Sisters Report brings you special coverage during NETWORK's 2016 Nuns on the Bus tour, which started July 11 in Wisconsin, runs through the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, and concludes July 29 at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. See more photos day by day, News from the Road blogs and videos from NETWORK Lobby, the sponsor of Nuns on the Bus.
"It's hard to make a good choice when there is not a good choice available."
– Peter Meinecke, youth program manager of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee in Toledo, Ohio
One phrase that has been running through my head over the past week is that "actions have consequences." Is it any wonder that we have a widening wealth and income inequality gap when our nation has chosen, for the past three decades, to prioritize tax breaks for the wealthiest individuals and corporations over using our resources to invest in the common good?
The negative impacts that our nation's policy choices have on people who are struggling are crystal clear in every state where the Nuns on the Bus have visited so far, and it's not just in urban areas. Our route has taken us through small rural communities, mid-size towns, and larger cities. At each stop along the way we are blessed to mingle with the local community. During site visits we have heard first-hand stories from ordinary folks unable to make ends meet, no matter how many shifts they work. I have learned that too many Americans are unable to provide for their families or to access things most of the rest of us take for granted, such as transportation, health care, safe and affordable housing, or non-predatory lending.
During our caucus events in the evening, we talk with folks in the community who are concerned about the widening gaps. Many of the participants have chosen to volunteer in their local soup kitchen or shelter, visiting at the local prison or helping kids in after school tutoring programs. These experiences have helped them to understand that in 21st-century America it is very difficult, if not impossible, to "pull yourself up by your bootstraps."