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Press Release: Campaign Launched to Address Extreme Wealth Gap in U.S.

FOR RELEASE: May 19, 2011                                                                     

CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224, sniedringhaus@networklobby.org

Washington DC:  NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, and NETWORK Education Program today announced the launch of a new campaign – called Mind the Gap! – designed to mobilize people across the country to address the crisis of the enormous wealth gap between a tiny fringe of super-rich Americans and most of the rest of the country. This gap, which has grown to historic proportions, affects every level of society, and it damages us all. It helps keep people in poverty, erodes the middle class, and results in a decline in numerous measures of our nation's wellbeing, as is shown in recent research.

Such an extreme concentration of wealth translates into a concentration of political power, which cracks the democratic foundation of our nation. As noted on the campaign website: “The elite few can afford armies of lobbyists and legal expertise, and they can funnel enormous amounts of money into elections. This helps a small minority keep and grow their power and wealth – even though millions of people struggle and suffer at the economic margins.”

The Mind the Gap! campaign will reach out to both social justice activists and the general public using social media and other contact methods. The goal is to alert people across the nation about the causes and consequences of the wealth gap. With the help of campaign activists, organizations and other groups, we will address the growing wealth disparities through education and other possibilities for change.

The campaign is rooted in our faith commitment to address economic injustice wherever it exists. As noted by Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK Executive Director, “We know that our faith calls us to respond to the needs of those around us. As Pope Benedict says in his Encyclical Charity in Truth, ‘Love—caritas—is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace.’ Let us be emboldened by this information and speak out for the good of our nation. Everyone in our country needs to “Mind the Gap!"

For more information about the Mind the Gap! campaign, go to www.networklobby.org/campaign/mind-the-gap.

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