RALEIGH, N.C. — The state chapter of the NAACP wants North Carolina lawmakers to focus on issues surrounding poverty and economic justice in the legislative session that begins in earnest at the end of the month.
State chapter president Rev. William Barber says the General Assembly should focus on several poverty-related subjects. Barber says those issues include economic ones such as living wages and labor rights; educational equality, including access to community colleges and universities; health care for everyone; inequalities in the justice system; and expanding voting rights.
The NAACP says 1.7 million North Carolinians live in poverty, about the same number the state had in 1968.
"The pain of it felt the same. The tears were the same," Barber said. "The faces are different. We could go to one place and it might be African-Americans, another Latinos, another white, another focused on women."
The civil rights group also will screen Tuesday a documentary based on a "poverty tour" it led last year.