The third and fourth arguments for renewal relate to the
symbolic significance of the vote for minorities which can
scarcely be overstated. The multiple disputes over political
participation in the nation in the 1960's and early 1970's
have strained many people's trust and confidence in governmental
institutions at all levels. In urging extension of the Act,
Congressman Andrew Young has said, "At a time when governmental
institutions remain in people's distrust, it would be tragic
for the Congress to sit by and allow the further erosion of the
most basic principle of democracy." If the Act is not renewed,
what might be the consequences of lowering black citizens' trust
still further?

This factor of trust relates directly to the last factor.
The current economic crisis plus federal revenue sharing has
increased the importance of Federal funds in the lives of many
people, particularly minorities and the poor.

In these times of increasing economic difficulties, policy
questions concerning tax reform, health insurance, income
maintenance programs, and employment programs are of ever-increasing
importance. So, too, are funds channeled through a variety of
decision-making bodies under general and special revenue-sharing.
People affected by all these programs must have access and meaningful
opportunities to participate in bodies making all such policy
decisions. As the number of decision-making bodies proliferate,
so does the variety of potential electoral abuses and discrimi-
natory actions in the south which might deny real opportunities for

Notes and Questions

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BettyJoyce Nash

final sentence of paragraph #1: original text underlines the word "not"