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Leader of Nat'l Movement in Miss. to Galvanize Voters

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Leader of Nat'l Movement in Miss. to Galvanize Voters
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Rev. William Barber (mic.) Singing with Choir and Supporters
Desare Frazier

The leader of a national movement devoted to galvanizing voters to go to the polls is at a church in Jackson, Mississippi.

That's Reverend William Barber of North Carolina, leader of the National Poor People's Campaign. He's urging people to vote. Barber says 1 million Mississippians who could have voted in 2016 didn't.

"People may have been not wanting to vote. But what's going on now is making people understand they can't stay home. They must vote and they must stay active," said Barber.

The pastor says he's concerned about issues that include the poor, systemic racism and the environment. Barber says 1.5 million people in Mississippi, are poor or low-income but it's not being addressed effectively by many elected officials. Guest speaker Iya Falola Omobola of Jackson, talked about being homeless for nine months and living in a shelter with her daughter. She says she's a case manager at that same shelter.

"It's just appalling to me how many people out here are homeless. There are at least 10 people who come through our doors or call on the phone on a daily basis," said Omobola.

Barber told the audience voting is a moral and religious responsibility.

"People cannot just be depressed and say well I'm not going to do anything, no you must do everything. Vote, mobilize, stay active," said Barber.

Barber is taking the poor people's campaign nationwide and says it won't end after this election.