For Immediate Release: August 20, 2020
Contact: Kelly Allen, 304-612-4180
Charleston, WV – ReImagine Appalachia is diverse coalition of organizations from West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio that put forward a policy blueprint to rebuild Appalachian communities through public investments that will put people to work in good-paying jobs while protecting people’s health and the environment. The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy is a founding member of the coalition.
In reaction to the Democratic Party’s National Climate Platform ratified Tuesday, WVCBP interim executive director Kelly Allen said, “The Democratic climate platform is a bold and inclusive vision that recognizes the job-creating potential in tackling climate change head on and directing public funding to rebuilding our region’s infrastructure. It would revitalize unions and provide opportunities for all. It also pays special attention to communities on the frontlines of extraction and those most harmed by pollution — communities of color, Indigenous communities, and low-income communities. We are eager to see how the Republican National Convention platform addresses the need for a sustainable future for Appalachia next week.”
Amanda Woodrum, senior researcher for Policy Matters Ohio and founding member of Reimagine Appalachia, went on to say, “As people who believe that no matter where we live or what we look like, we all deserve clean air, water, and jobs that pay enough to support a family, members of ReImagine Appalachia are excited by much of what the Democrats endorsed today.
“The party passed a platform that looks to the future, not the past. It also makes sure that the working people who mined coal or worked in power plants have a place in the new economy and that we won’t turn our backs on them if they get sick due to the demands of their previous labor.
“Even still, there’s room for improvement. The Democrats don’t do enough to explain how their plans will benefit Appalachia directly and how they will work with the people of the region who know best what they need. The people of Appalachia deserve a platform that recognizes their deep contributions to the nation’s wealth and the particular needs of their communities as the nation transitions to new forms of energy.”
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