On this West Virginia Morning, Willie Carver was Kentucky’s teacher of the year in 2021, but as a gay man, he and some of his students were harassed. So, in 2022, he resigned from Montgomery County High School. Last summer, he released Gay Poems for Red States. The book earned praise and helped turn Carver into a much-followed, outspoken voice on social media. Bill Lynch caught up with Carver.
‘WV Can’t Wait’ Candidates Against Corporate Campaign Contributions File For Office
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The area outside the West Virginia House of Delegates chamber was filled Saturday morning with t-shirts and buttons from various election campaigns throughout the state. Several people wore red bandanas, symbolic of the West Virginia miner strikes and the state’s rich labor history.
At the front of the room, behind the House doors, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stephen Smith and several others running for office this year shared their movement’s progressive platform.
Smith is at the forefront of WV Can’t Wait, a political movement that features more than 70 candidates poised to race in elections all over the state. Those in the group have signed a pledge, promising not to accept corporate donations in their campaigns.
Not all of the candidates who have signed the pledge have also signed the platform Smith shared Saturday.
Many of those candidates were in Charleston Saturday morning to officially file with the Secretary of State’s office for office.
“We know that politicians don’t write history. Movements do,” Smith told rally attendees. “Politicians didn’t lead the mine wars. Politicians did not leave the teachers and school service personnel strike that happened, right here!”
Smith delivered his speech with several other candidates from the movement Saturday morning.
Brittney Barlett, a Buckhannon-area teacher running for the House of Delegates, promised to support teachers by raising their wages to match that of other states, and establishing curriculum that avoids too many standardized tests and “lets teachers teach.”
Rosemary Ketchum from Wheeling is running for City Council. She told rally attendees she wants to “expose sweetheart deals” that support large, out-of-state corporations over small, local businesses.
Tina Russell, who’s running for the House of Delegates in Mercer County, said she’ll establish a worker’s bill of rights, including paid family leave and collective bargaining for all state employees.
The entire presentation bounced around issues that have been in established politicians’ and Gov. Jim Justice’s recent addresses — economic development, population loss and substance use.
Smith himself elaborated on working class issues.
“Our workers are producing more than ever. West Virginians have never generated so much wealth, but that wealth does not stay here,” Smith said in his address. “The profits of our people working overtime heads out state and into the populous of executives.”
On this West Virginia Morning, there has been a lot of discussion in the West Virginia Legislature this year about vaccines and whether they should be required in private, parochial or virtual schools. Emily Rice spoke with Del. Chris Pritt, R-Kanawha, and Del. Joey Garcia, D-Marion, to get their perspectives.
On this West Virginia Morning, the Mountaineer Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America serves 12 counties in north central West Virginia. On Feb. 8, the council appointed the first woman to serve as its governing board president. Jack Walker spoke with new president Amy Garbrick about her scouting background and gender inclusivity in scouting since the Boy Scouts became co-ed in 2019.
On this West Virginia Morning, a group of Black civil rights leaders in 1905 came together to form the Niagara Movement. Historians describe the group as a precursor to the NAACP. The group was founded in Ontario, Canada. But soon it forged ties with historic Harpers Ferry.