Poor People’s Campaign rallies outside federal building, presses NC Senators to protect democracy, raise wages

Rev. Nelson Johnson addresses demonstrators outside the Raleigh office of Senator Thom Tillis. (Photo: screen grab from live stream)

Dozens of demonstrators from North Carolina’s faith community and the Poor People’s Campaign gathered outside Sen. Thom Tillis’ Raleigh office Monday to release an open letter to members of the U.S. Senate.

The group is demanding Congress end the filibuster, pass all provisions of the For the People Act, and raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“You can’t survive on $7.25 (an hour). You can hardly survive on $15.25,” said the Rev. Nelson Johnson. “We need to keep raising that standard of living.”

Johnson told the crowd Congress must also fully restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

“What kind of democracy can you have when you make laws that suppress people’s right to vote?” Johnson asked rhetorically.

Activist Karen Ziegler of the group Tuesdays with Tillis called for an end to the filibuster.

“Because some senators – including Senators Tillis and Burr – are intent on making it easier for a few millionaires to buy our elections, and more difficult for regular people to vote,” Ziegler said.

Ziegler said the group is also urging Congress to expand Medicaid in states that have yet to take that action on their own.

“80 percent of North Carolinians want to expand it. And not expanding it kills people,” she said.

Similar events were held by the Poor People’s Campaign in 40 other states on Monday.

Demonstrators plan a Moral Monday action in the nation’s capital on August 2nd to call more attention to the needs of low-wage workers.

Karen Ziegler of the group Tuesdays with Tillis

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