July 21, 2020
July 21, 2020
A New Deal that WORKS for US
Appalachians have a long history of hard work, resilience, and coming together to face enormous challenges. Our region is a place of ingenuity. A place where families and neighbors look out for one another.
Now is the time to put our ingenuity to use and imagine a 21st century economy that works for the people in the Ohio River Valley of Appalachia. An economy that is good for working people, communities, our health and the health of our neighbors. One that is grounded in the land and centered on creating wealth locally. One that relies on working people, already skilled in service, industry, trades and farming. One that offers hope to the next generation’s workers--regardless of the color of their skin, ethnicity or gender. And one that does our region’s part to meet the nation’s climate challenge, just as we met the call to provide coal energy to fuel a growing nation a century ago.
Federal economic stimulus and national climate change legislation present opportunities to bring much needed federal resources into the region. Appalachia deserves its fair share.
The people of the region, with the right federal resources, can build a 21st century Appalachia, where everyone has a good-paying job with good benefits and responsible employers help protect the environment and the health of the people who live in it.
We are building a framework to ReImagine Appalachia. This blueprint incorporates voices from across the region. The effort was convened by Policy Matters Ohio and its sister organizations in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky (West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, Keystone Research Center and Kentucky Center for Economic Policy). We built off the grassroots effort to ReImagine Beaver County. PennFuture, West Virginia Rivers Coalition, Ohio Interfaith Power and Light, Breathe Project and the National Wildlife Federation were also key partners. We captured the expertise of both grasstop and grassroot leaders to reimagine the region in a virtual two-day convening as well as listening sessions for union leaders, racial and community justice advocates, environmental groups and others. The framework has already been endorsed by more than 50 organizations representing the voices of residents across the four states of the Ohio River Valley—Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
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