Dear Friends, Partners, and Allies,
We know it’s been a while, but we wanted to reach out, connect, and check-in with you. Since we were last in touch, our lives and our work has been significantly upended by the coronavirus pandemic and the necessary demand to stay home, and it’s hard to know what to say in times like these. It hardly seems adequate to say we hope you and your loved ones are well and that you are taking steps to protect yourself and your community.
We hope you are finding meaningful ways to connect with and check-in with one another in these times of physical distancing. (While we need to be physically distanced right now, we need to build more social connection!)
Most Americans are now having to consider alarming issues that we don’t normally have to face each day. Our inboxes and newsfeeds are inundated with tips on how to stay healthy in both body and spirit while trying to navigate stay-at-home orders, work layoffs, and fears for the health of our families and communities.
Beyond washing your hands often for 20 seconds at a time and maintaining physical distance from others, several oft-repeated tips include checking up on others by phone and digital means, setting daily goals, and deepening the sense of purpose you create for your life by your actions and activities.
Heeding that advice, we want to share with you an easy action you can take to make sure your voice is heard in the upcoming election. This week, Governor Justice announced that he is using his emergency powers to delay the primary until June 9, past the anticipated peak of the coronavirus outbreak. Below we’ve included important deadlines to keep in mind with the new election date and details on how you can cast your ballot safely from home.
As public and private entities are taking significant steps to prevent a flood of cases that would overwhelm our health care system, we also wanted to share an update on the COVID-19 response for West Virginia’s criminal justice system and the urgent need to take action to minimize the harm inflicted on inmates and correctional staff in West Virginia – and, by extension, the harm inflicted on our communities.
And finally, although it feels like it was ages ago, we wanted to share a bit of good news by way of a legislative wrap-up.
That’s it for now, but please stay tuned and stay in touch. Many of us are struggling with the unknowns in front of us, but we’ll pull through this by pulling together, continuing to look out for community, and continuing to take action.