Presidential Candidate John Edwards Visits Poor Community
ROCK HILL, S.C. —
Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards stopped in Rock Hill Friday, but he wasn't here for a rally, or to make a campaign speech.
Edwards visited the Blackmon Road community just outside the city. It's one of the poorest neighborhoods in the state. Many residents live without running water or working toilets.
Poverty is a signature issue for Edwards, who thanked the volunteers working to make Blackmon Road a better place.
"You're doing what everybody needs to be doing," he said. "It shows the character of America when we're there for each other, and we need to be there for each other."
Edwards walked the dirt roads in the neighborhood with actor Danny Glover, who's also active in helping people in poverty. They met Hopi Whitlock, who lives in a house with no running water, and uses a port-a-john outside for a bathroom.
Edwards said plans like universal health care, and getting better job training will help people in communities like these. Though he's seen similar neighborhoods he said most Americans would be shocked that this kind of poverty exists.
"I don't think most Americans know that other Americans live like this. I think if they did, they'd respond," he said.
Edwards and Glover also toured the Blackmon Road community center called a Place for Hope. Center director Karen McKernan told Edwards how the center helps tutor neighborhood children, and provides job training for adults.