As head of the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition for six years, he built campaigns that came out of ideas solicited from within local communities. One of them, called Our Children Our Future, produced 28 legislative victories, including raising the minimum wage and expanding the school breakfast and lunch program. By contrast, a typical gubernatorial campaign in West Virginia is driven by money, not people. Justice financed most of his spending out of his own pocket. As Smith describes it, Justice and Cole each had a tiny staff, maybe 20 advisers, and just threw a bunch of money at advertising.
As of September, the campaign boasted county captains, with each county building an independent political organization that, by the election, will match the size of a typical statewide gubernatorial campaign. The county captains plan and organize the town halls that Smith attends, which thereby become a leadership development moment for new or inexperienced organizers thrown into the fire.
Every county team comes up with different events, and learns from one another through internal Facebook groups and twice-monthly conference calls. Everyone contributes their talents. Phil Rolleston, the Pocahontas County captain, does online database work, and designed a program to organize volunteers.
Smith tells me about an older couple in Fayette County, who for one town hall picked a black church in a lower-income area. Intent to represent a cross-section of the community, they went door to door in housing complexes, bringing voter registration cards and an invite to the coming event.
In the end, 86 people showed up. Not only does this raise campaign awareness and gather intelligence about pressing issues, but it also breaks down walls constructed for a polarized age. What are you hoping for? McCoy tells me about a conversation she had with a diehard Republican, a business owner she knew but never talked with about politics.
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By the end of the conversation he was at ease. We need 1, veterans who will fight like hell for veterans no matter who is in office. Smith speaks at the kickoff of his West Virginia Can't Wait campaign in Matewan, a sacred site in the coal-dominant southern section of the state. She eschewed politics most of her life, considering it distasteful. Rumberg has lived all over the state, and has already assembled senior volunteers to help identify and promote a senior-focused platform.
I have a plus year old member canvassing door to door. Mike Weaver, a Trump voter and former chicken farmer from Pendleton County, quit the business in disgust with exploitation by out-of-state processing companies, who keep farmers on contract and dictate all the terms. He now grows industrial hemp. He wants more opportunity within West Virginia for its many local farmers, like markets for their goods in schools and state hospitals.
The idea generation that the campaign is producing goes beyond a mere exercise. Each county and constituency team must reach a goal of 55 conversations, which earns them a ticket into a platform convention meeting in November. He favors single-payer health care and direct negotiations for state-purchased prescription drugs. He supports ending tax giveaways for giant out-of-state landowners and monopolies, diverting the money to infrastructure investment and support for small businesses and co-ops.
Our liberation is tied up in each other. The county party, which wanted to flip two state legislative seats, identified low-turnout Democrats and found volunteers, giving them each responsibility for 35 voters. They could text message, email, call, write a postcard or letter, door-knock, do whatever it took to get out those 35 voters. And when early voting began, the party published rankings for each volunteer, creating a friendly competition.
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Turnout doubled within this universe of Democrats, and the two seats flipped. If I give you a ride to the polls next week, will you come with me? In , ten thousand miners, a multiracial coalition including newly arrived European immigrants and Southern blacks, confronted three thousand state and local police and hired-gun detective agents at Blair Mountain. It was the culmination of a decade of violence between mine bosses and union workers, including a shoot-out in Matewan the year before that left ten dead and amped up tensions.
For five days, police deployed machine guns and even commissioned private planes to drop homemade explosives on the mine workers at Blair Mountain. President Harding sent in federal troops to break up the skirmish, the largest domestic uprising since the Civil War. The miners wore red bandanas to signify themselves in battle. Steele, in front of a crowd clad in red bandanas, told that story nearly years later at the campaign kickoff, describing how miners from disparate backgrounds struggled as one. Stephen Smith spoke about having the courage to wear the bandana, the weight of that symbol.
Despite a state law preventing public-employee strikes, teachers walked out in February , wearing bright red as they picketed. Other unions, including the United Mine Workers, bused people to the protests. After a nine-day walkout and countless demonstrations at the state capitol, teachers received a 5 percent raise and triggered a wave of other teachers strikes across the nation.
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But Brittney Barlett had unfinished business in the House of Delegates. Why not a teacher? Smith is the candidate, but he acts more like a recruiter.
He gives out his own contact information at town halls, and promises to respond to constituents. Only this time, the machine is allied with the people, over the powerful. Brittney Barlett is one of those candidates. Running for delegate in Lewis County in the center of the state, she has been holding Facebook Live events to survey her constituents on what they want out of government. Paula Jean Swearengin, an anti—mountaintop removal activist who challenged Joe Manchin in the Democratic Senate primary in and took 30 percent of the vote despite having no money and little name recognition, has taken the pledge for her second run for Senate , this time against Republican Shelley Moore Capito.
Rosemary Ketchum of Wheeling, a civil rights activist, would be the first transgender city councilmember in West Virginia history. Ketchum is running to end a growing homeless problem in Wheeling, to fight the opioid epidemic her mother and father are addicted , and to engage the community to aid in decision-making.
Danielle Walker, an incumbent delegate from Morgantown, is also running on the slate.
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She still works two jobs; the first starts at 3 a. She was asked to run for office after speaking at a vigil for the activist who died in Charlottesville. West Virginia is my second chance state. Having the candidates run together allows them to share volunteer resources, with constituency and county teams joining forces behind the candidates. Russell, a black social worker and first-time candidate, is a co-chair of the West Virginia Working Families Party , the progressive grassroots organization that recruits and trains candidates.
To Mitchell, none of it could work without a candidate at the top of the ticket generous enough to believe in a politics bigger than himself.
Smith and his wife are now also foster parents. The family moved to Texas when he was nine; he subsequently attended Harvard. Smith spent three years doing what he says were all the right things to build support, holding rallies and engaging the student body. And the university responded insultingly, by offering the workers museum passes. After graduation, Smith moved to Chicago, helped start a bakery run by formerly homeless people, and organized with an immigrant rights organization.
Flag as inappropriate. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders. Similar ebooks. See more. Erick Erickson. In late , prompted by the news that his wife was battling cancer and his own pulmonary medical scare, Erick Erickson posted a piece to his website, The Resurgent.
Styled as a letter to his young children, the piece, titled "If I Should Die Before You Wake," was a stirring message--and challenge--about how to live a life of purpose and joy. Now, in a time when our country needs healing and a reminder of our values more than ever, Erickson has expanded the project, composing a total of ten letters, featuring a wonderful mix of the practical, inspirational, and spiritual. Unfreedom of the Press.
Mark R. Levin comes a groundbreaking and enlightening book that shows how the great tradition of the American free press has degenerated into a standardless profession that has squandered the faith and trust of the American public, not through actions of government officials, but through its own abandonment of reportorial integrity and objective journalism. Unfreedom of the Press is not just another book about the press. With the depth of historical background for which his books are renowned, Levin takes the reader on a journey through the early American patriot press, which proudly promoted the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, followed by the early decades of the Republic during which newspapers around the young country were open and transparent about their fierce allegiance to one political party or the other.
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Erick Erickson: Volume I: Volume 1. Erick Erickson is a nationally syndicated opinion columnist for Creators Syndicate. Jonathan Haidt. Drawing on his twenty five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, Haidt shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns.
In this subtle yet accessible book, Haidt gives you the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation, as well as the curse of our eternal divisions and conflicts.