Circle of Protection

Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. - Proverbs 31:8-9

Request to Candidates

“Make a short video telling the American people what you would do as president to offer help and opportunity to poor and hungry people in the US and around the world.”

Why ask for a video? “The Bible has a lot to say about hunger and poverty – the candidates, not so much,” says Rev. Gary Cook, who is coordinating our candidate outreach. “They dance around the issue, but rarely do they address it head on. And the media fail to press them on it. In all the presidential primary and general election debates over the past two election cycles, the ‘poverty question’ has never been raised. So, we are asking it.”

In both 2012 and 2016, the Circle of Protection secured videos or statements from all the major presidential candidates and promoted them to the members and supporters of our churches, agencies and schools. These videos were the only direct statements on hunger and poverty to emerge from the campaigns.

In the 2020 election cycle, Circle of Protection leaders have welcomed early attention to poverty issues in a candidate forum sponsored by the Poor Peoples’ Campaign and hope to continue and expand that focus. We want to know how the candidates would address poverty in the global context as well as in the US.

The Circle of Protection is non-partisan. We look to both Republicans and Democrats for leadership, and we believe the American people should have the opportunity to compare and contrast their approaches. We are asking Democratic and Republican candidates for president to produce videos to share their plans with us.


The Circle of Protection commits to making candidate videos available as they are shared with us. We will not publicly evaluate candidate policy positions or endorse any candidate.

John Delaney, Democrat