Thanks to everyone who was able to participate in our first virtual meeting — we appreciate your time, energy, and input! It was great to see familiar faces and to have so many new folks join us for the discussion. If you couldn’t be with us, here are a few highlights and takeaways:
- Ensuring Access to Absentee Voting in November – Overall, the primary election was a success. Although turnout was lower than we hoped, there were no systemic problems and 50% of voters took advantage of absentee voting to cast their ballots safely from home. Folks thought things went well and want to see the process used in the primary continue for the General Election, including absentee ballot applications being mailed to all registered voters. Absentee voting is essential to protecting our health and making our voices heard. The WV Poor People’s Campaign will be launching a letter campaign to Governor Jim Justice and Secretary of State Mac Warner to ensure this option is available to voters again in November. We’ll share the letter campaign once it is live. Watch for more details early next week.
- Support for Economic Justice and Equity – The Charleston Branch of the NAACP and leaders of the African American faith community have asked the Governor and legislative leaders to set aside a portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act money the state received to address the impacts of the virus, as well as the long-standing disparities in healthcare and economic opportunity among these populations in West Virginia. We drafted a letter of support for this initiative (dubbed the Hope 20/20/20 Economic Justice & Equity Fund). You can view the letter and list of signatories so far, here. If your organization would like to sign-on to the letter, please let me know by Noon tomorrow, July 10. Feel free to download and use it as a template to craft your own letter. Learn more about this effort by contacting Rev. Matthew J. Watts at (304) 610-0715 or visiting his Facebook page.
- Moving to Action on Our Democracy Agenda – WVCCE has some projects planned to help advance our goals and the vision laid out together at our strategy session last spring. Please reach out if you are interested in being part of these efforts.
- Lifting up our Pro-Democracy Platform by sending a questionnaire to legislative candidates and publicizing the results.
- Advancing recusal including working on a report similar using this report from Common Cause Ohio as a template, and engaging legal scholars and former judges. (Recual is the one component of the Pro-Democracy Platform that doesn’t require legislative action.)
- Re-convening our Communications Team, starting with a debrief of the work we did last summer and fall, and exploring goals and plans to move forward.
- Job Opportunities – Finally, here are some exciting job announcements from our partners and allies.
- The ACLU of WV is hiring a Voting Rights Project Manager. This is a newly created, temporary position with responsibility for helping to create and implement a plan to educate, organize and advocate to support people in exercising their right to vote. More info and full job description here.
- The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC) is hiring an Adminstrative Director to manage all financial and operational activities for the organization, including accounting, budgeting, financial reporting and cash flow, as well as overseeing HR, facilities, IT, and organizational administration. Click here for the full description.
- OVEC is also hiring a Director of Organizing to develop and direct organizing and campaign strategies and to lead and manage OVEC’s team of organizers. The Director of Organizing will work closely with OVEC’s Communications Specialist, and be responsible for training and managing organizers in order to build OVEC’s community outreach and community power. The full description can be found here.
We’ll be back in touch soon. In the meantime, you can find more notes, updates, and announcements here.
Grateful for your support and collaboration,
Julie Archer, Coordinator
WV Citizens for Clean Elections