* Literacy is a human rights issue that goes together with racial equality, gender equality, and LGBT equality. Reading/communication are necessary to truly advocate for oneself.
* Literacy is a financial issue. Without the communication skills to engage in our world, it is easy for others to marginalize you, and make you a pawn to their needs.
* Literacy is a global security issue. When you look at the CIA World Factbook, many of the countries listed are places that top the list as the world's dangerous spots.
All of these things go together. An uneducated community has higher than normal poverty. Uneducated communities are non-safe zones for women, children, LGBT people, and people who check out as different from the masses. These are places where young men are poor and angry, and they're willing to do something about it.
I'm not in any position to advocate specific policy, but I won't sit by, cowed by the old line, "If you don't have a solution, then don't bring up the problem." I'm sorry, the problem is too big for any one of us. The solution is that we need to band together to find the solution. Even those who are tremendously different from us have DNA that is so remarkably similar that everyone on this planet is our family. I don't care if your reasons are big hearted or cynical, we need a world that reads. It's up to us to lead.