Keep Our Kids Here
What WV Can’t Wait For
West Virginia will be more than “a good state to be from.” It will be a good place to live, a good place to return to, and a good place to build a long term future.
Whose Side We’re On
- Kids who want to stay here when they grow up
- Small business owners who give back to their communities
- Visionaries who create good jobs here in long term, sustainable industries
- People fighting for clean water
- West Virginians who return home to start businesses
- Real Economic Development
… and more. Click the links above to read stories from the trail.
What We’re Up Against
33 people today. 33 more tomorrow.
33 is the average daily population loss for West Virginia. Population loss is a symptom of a much more devastating disease.
For generations, at the direction of corporate lobbyists and the politicians they own, state government has conspired to ship our wealth away from West Virginia. They ship it away every time they pass a corporate tax break or severance tax cut. They ship it away every time they make a sweetheart deal to bring another giant company in, just so they can undercut our small businesses. They ship it away every time they help a pharmaceutical company get rich off our people’s misery. They ship it away every time they weaken labor regulations and raise taxes on working people.
Here’s the thing: when our political leaders are dead set on shipping our wealth away from West Virginia, we can’t be surprised when our children leave with it.
Right now, every state in the country is chasing giant multinational companies, because every state legislature is beholden to corporate donors. That’s why, across the country, wages continue to plummet as productivity continues to rise. The pandemic has only made this worse – historic job loss combined with record profits.
The answer is not to try to play the same game that big cities play, bending over backwards to corporate giants. That’s a game we cannot win.
Instead, some state will be the first to right its economy, by choosing to advance the interests of small businesses, family farms, working families, and schools. Some state will be the first to bet big on small towns, local agriculture, public art, and a New Deal-era infrastructure program. That state will not only keep its population steady, it will attract a generation of working families looking for a better life. That state can be West Virginia.
- Make West Virginia the best place in the country to raise a family, by passing our “Protect Our Children” plan to make child care universally affordable, and our ambitious Education Plan, written by and for educators and parents.
- Make West Virginia the best place in the country for entrepreneurs, farmers, distance workers, and small business owners, by passing our Small Business Revolution, which capitalizes more than 3,000 new businesses annually.
- Make West Virginia the best place to work. Our Workers Bill of Rights will ensure that every job is a decent job, and our Mountaineer Service Corps will put 33,000 West Virginians to work rebuilding our roads, waterways, and broadband.
- Make West Virginia the best place in the country to find relief from for student debt, by passing the nation’s most ambitious debt forgiveness plan—the “Take Me Home” plan— and by becoming the first state to pass Higher Education for All.
- Make West Virginia the best place in the country, no matter whom you love, the God you worship, your nation of origin, or the color of your skin. We have the most aggressive plan to end discrimination based on race, gender, religious, and sexual identity.
- Make West Virginia the best place to learn and work from home. More and more jobs can be done from anywhere. This is especially true after the pandemic. West Virginia can be the perfect destination for distance workers and their families when we Make Broadband a Public Utility and fund a middle-mile that helps supply internet to every corner of our state.
- Make West Virginia the best place for generations to come. Read our plan to become a national leader in the fight against climate change, while also creating a State Bank that returns a Freedom Dividend to all West Virginia residents.
- Establish a Taxpayer Council comprised of West Virginians 15-35 years old to advise the Governor and coordinate efforts across agencies to attract, retain, and return young people and families to West Virginia. The Council would be responsible for helping to execute the above initiatives, while also conducting research and engaging more young people in the process. (For more information about our Taxpayer Councils, check out our Government of the People plan.)
How We Pay For It
Every one of our New Deal plans was written by West Virginians.
- Our volunteers asked 11,000 of their neighbors, “What would you do if you were Governor?”
- Our candidates attended 197 Town Halls, taking notes in community centers, church basements, union halls, and small businesses.
- Educators met after work to start sketching out their perfect school.
- Nurses traded ideas on the picket line.
- Our county and constituency captains ratified a first platform in the fall of 2019 and updated it in the spring of 2020 to reflect the current pandemic.
But the legacy of this New Deal dates back to John Brown and Mother Jones, to the United Mine Workers of America and the suffragettes, to the Poor People’s Movement and the CIO.
No one politician or slate of candidates can win this plan alone. We need you.
If you have an idea for how to make this plan stronger, or if you would like to lend a hand to win it, contact our candidate for Governor Stephen Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.