Are you a citizen that wants to do something about the water crisis?
Last Thursday, forty five people met at a Citizen Action Meeting. This meeting was a chance for us—citizens that are concerned about our water—to make plans together!
We want to invite you to be a part of the next meeting: February 20th 7pm-9pm in the hall of Asbury United Methodist Church--big thanks to Pastor Joe for making this possible.
At the last meeting, we formed 5 groups, based on the actions we wanted to take. Here are the sort of citizen-led efforts these we came up with. Come be a part of it!
For more information about the upcoming meeting itself, contact Katey at firstname.lastname@example.org
· Citizen Lobbying
This group decided to work to coordinate legislative rapid response. This group is also doing on-hands lobbying trainings every Wednesday starting at 8:30amat the capitol. All are welcome.
*Contact: Bill for more information email@example.com
· Community Information Meetings and Community Organizing
This group is figuring out how we can use some of the smart organizing and information-sharing we’ve done in Charleston as models for folks wanting to do similar organizing in other counties. They’re going to be making a simple toolkit for leaders in other areas to use.
*Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Asbury Community Meeting” for more information
· Billing Issues and the Public Service Commission
This group is helping as many people as possible to file complaints about their water and bills to the Public Service Commission. They will be holding workshops to explain the Public Service Commission process and answer questions about complaints. SAVE THE DATES: Thursday February 13 (6-8pm);Tuesday February 18 (3:30-5:30pm). A separate email will be coming with more details.
*Contact: Cathy for more information email@example.com
· Medical Monitoring and Women’s Health
This group created a list of resource people and wants to make plans to get as many people filling out surveys as possible and getting people, especially women, the health information they need.
*Contact: Maya for more information chemicalsafetyadvocates@gmail.
· Rainwater Catchment
This group is going to be setting up rain catchment models in Charleston. They’re looking into getting a large shipment of barrels into the area--some will already be at the Re-store in Charleston this week. This group is also encouraging other to attend the rainwater workshop on the 22nd of February.
*Connect with them via Facebook:
*Please note: Citizen Action Group will be participating in these events, but is not leading them.
Saturday's "Moral March" protest of West Virginia American Water was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who came out and helped deliver the citizens' bill to the company for the expenses and burdens we incurred as a result of their unusable water.
State regulations require West Virginia American Water to deliver water that is "pure, wholesome, potable, and in no way injurious to the health of the consumer." If you feel like you are being billed for water that is none of those things, there are some steps that you can take. This handout, which was passed out on Saturday, explains how and why to file an informal or formal complaint at the Public Service Commission, the entity which regulates West Virginia American Water.
If you want to learn more about the PSC, and how we can use the PSC's complaint process to demand that WV American Water stop charging for their unusable water, come to one of the following workshops:
- Thursday, Feb 13th, 6-8pm (St. Johns Church, 1105 Quarrier St.)
- Tuesday, Feb 18th, 3:30-5:30pm, (Unitarian Church, 520 Kanawha Blvd West)
At these workshops, we will explain the PSC process and be available to answer questions about formal complaints.
Before the workshop, be sure to call West Virginia American Water (1-800-685-8660) and lodge a complaint with them. Note the time of your call and, if possible, who you spoke to so that you have a record of attempting to resolve your complaint with the company.
Having large numbers of people file complaints at the PSC will make a
difference! If you are filing a formal complaint at the PSC and/or have
decided not to pay your water bill, we encourage you to sign up to join
the WV American Water Protest listserv by emailing wv-american-water-
Please note that filing complaints at the PSC does not ensure that WV American Water will not try to shut off your service if you decide not to pay your bill.
February 13: Women’s Lobby Day
WV FREE’s legislative agenda includes the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act (HB 4284) and a clean water bill (SB 373). Schedule and registration here.
February 14: Day of Action: Water ~ Love It or Lose it, 10am-3pm
State Capitol, Lower Rotunda
Citizens from all over West Virginia will demand that government heed the warnings of the big spill and make strong water law and strict enforcement a reality. Tickets for chartered bus from Morgantown here. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
February 15: Water Quality Monitoring Training Program, 10am-3:30pm