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Thirteen states are expected to raise their minimum wage this year, with 11 more considering pay increases. While local governments are taking the task of improving the quality of life for its residents into its own hands, Washington — Congress, in particular—is dragging its feet.

During Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said he will sign an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contractors.

“Let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour,” the President said.

But his colleagues in Congress don’t seem to agree, making some Americans wonder why their D.C. Representatives are so resistant to pay raises. Roland Martin, however, said during his “NewsOne Now” radio show that people should take more time to vote in local elections, which can have the power to produce outcomes more powerful than those legislated from D.C.

“It’s not just about what happens in Washington, D.C., specific. When there are a specific number of rights that have been granted to the states, in fact, those rights not spoken of in the U.S. Constitution as it relates to the federal government or help by the states.”

 Listen to Roland Martin break down the importance of local politics below:

Be sure to tune in to NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, weekdays at 7 a.m. EST.

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