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SPRIGGS: We Need to Fight for Equality

William Spriggs, Special to The Informer | 7/30/2014, 9 a.m.
President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

There are now 23 states with minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage. So far, this year, in the 13 states that raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1, job growth has been faster than in the states that did not raise their minimum wage.

This is where the agenda of Rev. Barber's civil rights meets labor rights. Only 4.8 percent of North Carolina's workforce is represented by a union. So there is no voice for workers on the plant floor or in the offices of North Carolina. The one place they can have a voice is in the state legislature, to campaign for decent wages.

Under Ronald Reagan, voting laws were updated in 1984 to make it easier for people with disabilities and older Americans to vote. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993-the Motor Voter Act-insured greater access to voter registration through state agencies interfacing with the public. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 aimed to clean up dysfunctional voting processes exposed by the "hanging chads" of Florida's paper ballots in 2000. And President George W. Bush signed the reauthorization of the 1965 Voting Rights Act after it passed the Senate 98-0.

So, after the continued progress on voting rights that was launched 50 years ago, you have to wonder why politicians would now take great efforts to make it more difficult to vote? Reversing democratic progress to silence the 99 percent only helps 1 percent of Americans. So, we must fight.

Follow Spriggs on Twitter @WSpriggs.