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NC demonstrators demand lawmakers back agenda to aid poor

March 15, 2021 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Dozens of North Carolina demonstrators urged state legislators on Monday to protect voting rights and implement a dozen other liberal policy prescriptions they say will lift up low-income residents.

The North Carolina chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign held a news conference outside the Legislative Building before its representatives dropped off letters with the priorities at the offices of state lawmakers.

The national campaign — co-chaired by Goldsboro-based Rev. William Barber — scheduled similar actions Monday in about 30 other states and Washington.

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Campaign leaders are particularly worried about hundred of bills that they said would restrict voting in over 40 states. This contrasts with successful efforts by activists to preserve or expand ballot access last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We stand today in solidarity because we are prepared to fight for the right to vote and for our democracy,” said Ana Blackburn, a co-chair of the North Carolina campaign.

The 14-point national priority list also includes a $15 minimum wage, guaranteed health care for everyone, free COVID-19 treatment, comprehensive immigration reform and redirected military spending.

“We call upon our elected officials to lift the moral agenda that represents the people because when we lift from the bottom, everybody rises,” Blackburn said.