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Young WV Week of Action; Redistricting Public Hearings

Today kicks off a Week of Action organized by Young West Virginia. They are hosting rallies across the state to help garner community action in support of the For the People Act, John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and D.C. Statehood. These pro-democracy reforms are our once in a generation opportunity to protect our freedom to vote, end partisan and racial gerrymandering, and get dark money out of politics. Join a rally near you. Events are happening in:

Join Young WV’s week of action and play a part in fulfilling the promise of our democracy.

This week is also the start of a series of listening sessions hosted by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Redistricting, with public hearings in Winfield (Tuesday 7/27) and Logan (Thursday 7/29). All 12 in-person public hearings will take place from 6 to 8 PM, with doors opening at 5:30 PM to begin the sign-in process. Anyone who would like to be guaranteed an opportunity to speak during the hearings will need to be present to sign in by 6 PM. 

See the full schedule and other redistricting information and resources compiled by our Fair Maps Committee here.

Let’s take advantage of the upcoming hearings to let legislators know that when it comes to our districts, we want a transparent process we can trust, where communities remain whole and where voters have an equal voice.

Action Alert: WV Water Protections Under Revision – Act by July 19

We’re sharing this important Action Alert from our friends at the WV Rivers Coalition. 

All Hands on Deck: WV Water Protections Under Revision

A recent a policy decision by the WVDEP related to water quality standards creates a loophole to allow industries to dump more toxins in our source water.

This proposal is part of a second round of human health criteria revisions – the portion of our water quality standards that protects our health from dangerous pollutants like cancer causing toxins, chemicals known to cause birth-defects, and poisons like cyanide.

Submit comments on the proposal today!

This policy is dangerous for West Virginia. Not only will it allow more toxins in our drinking water sources, it creates a shortcut for polluters to allow EVEN MORE toxins in our water with less public involvement.

Ways this policy puts our health and our water at risk:

  1. The proposal creates a loophole for industry to further weaken the human health criteria on a case-by-case basis if industry funds a study that sways the WVDEP to decide that water and fish can handle more toxins.  
  2. This is handout to big corporations, who can afford the studies. Hint: chemical manufacturers asked for this loophole, so we are pretty sure they can afford these studies and are confident they believe they can demonstrate results in their favor.  
  3. There is already a process in place to revise water quality standards. The revision sidesteps that procedure by creating a shortcut that reduces scrutiny and public input in decision-making.  
  4. The loophole exacerbates environmental justice issues by allowing more toxins in waters near industrialized areas, which are often poorer communities that are already struggling with problems related to social, economic, and environmental justice.  
  5. On top of all these factors, it’s just plain old bad policy. It’s vague and sets a precedent for further weakening of water quality standards statewide.

This is an all hand on deck call to action!  

You can submit comments on the proposal through July 19 hereIt’s important for the WVDEP to hear personalized responses from commenters. Think about how the policy change would affect you and your loved ones personally.

In addition to submitting written comments, please plan to join the virtual public hearing on the proposal on July 19 at 6:00PM

WV DEP Proposes to Further Weaken Water Quality Standards

The WVDEP is proposing another round of changes to the state’s water quality standards that will allow more toxins in our drinking water sources, while also creating loopholes for polluters to further weaken criteria intended to protect human health. Our friends at the West Virginia Rivers Coalition have more details here. You have an opportunity to weigh in on this bad policy at a virtual public hearing hosted by the DEP on Monday, July 19 at 6 PM. 

Redistricting Information and Resources

Congressional districts and government legislative bodies should be apportioned substantially on population. We oppose partisan and racial gerrymandering that strips rights away from voters.

Redistricting: Why It Matters – Political and racial gerrymandering distorts and undermines representative democracy by allowing officials to select their voters rather than voters to elect their officials. When done for purposes of racial discrimination or to ensure the dominance of one political party, gerrymandering runs counter to equal voting rights for all eligible voters.

What We’re Doing -  We promote transparent and accountable redistricting processes and to end hyper-partisan practices that don’t benefit constituents. We believe responsibility for fair redistricting should be vested in an independent special commission, with membership that reflects the diversity of the unit of government. 

Click here to learn more about redistricting, how the redistricting process is going to work in West Virginia this year, and what you can do to get involved.

Tell Senators Manchin and Capito to Support the For the People Act

West Virginia voters can help save the For the People Act.
 
Contact Sen. Manchin at 202-224-3954 or manchin.senate.gov/contact-joe/email-joe and Sen. Capito at 202-224-6472 or capito.senate.gov/contact/share-your-opinion
 
You can also take action here
 
 
 

Redistricting For the People! Teach-In

Learn more about how the redistricting process is going to work this year, how the For the People Act would impact it in the future, and what you can do to get involved. Speakers include Delegates Barbara Fleischauer & Evan Hansen and Senator Charles Trump, Co-Chair of the WV Legislature’s Joint Committee on Restricting with moderator Effie Kallas, Co-President of LWV-WV.

Redistricting For the People! Teach-In

League of Women Voters of West Virginia Launches Campaign to Pass S1

CHARLESTON, WV – With the Senate set to vote on the For the People Act (S1) in late June, this week the League of Women Voters of West Virginia launched a campaign to promote the bill’s passage. On Sunday, June 20th, the League placed full-page ads in the Charleston Gazette-Mail and the Huntington-Herald Dispatch, alongside digital ads on the publications’ respective homepages, urging West Virginia senators to vote for the For the People Act.

“It is clear that the pro-voter policies put forward by S1 are supported by the majority of West Virginians,” said Effie Kallas, co-President of the League of Women Voters of West Virginia. “We are hopeful that this campaign will inspire people to reach out to Senators Manchin and Capito to demand that they vote ‘yes’ on this essential bill.”

The For the People Act passed in the U.S. House on March 3, 2021, and now awaits a Senate vote. The bill, which aims to make the promise of democracy real for all Americans by securing the right to vote, increasing government transparency and accountability, and eliminating dark money from elections, is widely supported by the American public.

In West Virginia, it has a bipartisan approval rating of 79 percent.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the bill within the next week.

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CONTACT: Lilly McGee | 202-263-1329| lmcgee@lwv.org

Learn about Redistricting with Dr. Kenneth Martis

Learn about Redistricting with Dr. Kenneth Martis

This presentation was taken from the Stubblefield Institute’s Community Engagement event, “Redistricting on the State and Federal Level and How it Impacts the Eastern Panhandle” held on June 10, 2021. 

Dr. Kenneth Martis speaks about Redistricting at LWVWV Convention

Kenneth C. Martis Ph.D speaks at League of Women Voters West Virginia Convention May 15 2021

Professor Martis speaks on the electoral history of the United States. As an American political geographer his knowledge and expertise lies in mapping and documentation of electoral history. He is a Professor emeritus in the Department of Geology and Geography at West Virginia university. Professors Martis research of geography of Elections and geographical aspects of American political culture, legislative redistricting and gerrymandering are important and informative to all voters. 

Spring VOTER 2021

Inside you will find informative updates on the 2021 Legislative session and the impact on League priorities. Also find helpful articles on redistricting in West Virginia, WV’s new green horizon and our upcoming virtual Convention.

pdf iconVoterSpring2021.pdf