Reimagine Appalachia coalition says DNC platform presents bold vision for the future
Posted August 20, 2020 in Press Releases
Coalition says Party needs to do more to prioritize Appalachia and other rural communities
ReImagine Appalachia is a 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. Policy Matters Ohio is a founding member of the coalition. In reaction to the Democratic Party’s National Platform ratified Tuesday, Policy Matters Senior Researcher Amanda Woodrum releases the following statement.
“As people who believe that no matter where we live or what we look like, we all deserve clean air and water and jobs that pay enough to support a family, members of ReImagine Appalachia are excited by much of what the Democrats endorsed today. Appalachians deserve these things, too -- especially after years of Big Energy CEOs profiting by exploiting the region’s working people and extracting its natural resources -- leaving communities in poverty, the land scarred and people sick.
“The party passed a platform that looks to the future, not the past. The Democrats see the job-creating potential in tackling climate change head-on by directing public funding to rebuilding the transportation system, modernizing the rural electric grid, and restoring wetlands. It’s an inclusive platform that will direct funding to communities most harmed by pollution – communities of color, Indigenous communities, and low-income communities.
“Even still, there’s room for improvement. The Democrats don’t do enough to explain how their plans will benefit Appalachia directly, the heart of coal country. 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. Appalachia deserves its fair share of any public infrastructure investments associated with national climate change legislation. We look forward to seeing Republicans’ ideas for the region during their convention next week.”