WV Citizen Action Group
Action Alert
February 10
2014
 Alert Archive

Below:

 Citizen Action Meetings

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 lauerkj@gmail.com

  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 billhowley@hughes.net

  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: wvcape@gmail.com 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 cathykunkel@gmail.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.com

  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: 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/548864845210593/

--

Katey Lauer

Coordinator
The Alliance for Appalachia

*Please note: Citizen Action Group will be participating in these events, but is not leading them.

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 Formal PSC Complaint

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-protest-subscribe@lists.riseup.net.  This will allow us to keep track of how many people we have putting pressure on the PSC, as well as providing a forum to answer each others' questions as we go through the PSC process.   

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.

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 Upcoming Events

February 13: Women’s Lobby Day

State Capitol

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 outreach@marcellus-wv.com for more info.

February 15: Water Quality Monitoring Training Program, 10am-3:30pm
South Charleston Public Library, 312 4th Ave., South Charleston
Learn to conduct water quality monitoring in your area! Contact Jaimie Holmes at (304) 614-6699 or
jholmes@tu.org for more information.
February 17: WV Environmental Council Lobby Day, 9am-3pm
State capitol

West Virginia Environmental Council is holding its Annual Environmental Lobby Day on Monday, February 17th. Join us at the WV State Capitol from 9am-3pm for our 24th Annual E-Day and in the evening for our Awards & Benefit Dinner from 6-9pm. If you would like to reserve a table for display, and have not as yet done so, contact Karen Yarnell: Karen.yarnell@fairmontstate.edu  If you have brochures, handouts, signs, etc. please feel free to bring those. 
Otherwise, join us between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for Citizen Lobbying, visit displays, press conference and rallying together as we advocate for a better West Virginia and protection of our environment. Go to tables located by the Robert C. Byrd statue for information and citizen lobbying. There will be a Press Conference at 12:30 p.m. WVEC encourages your participation regardless, even if you do not wish to have a display. See below for information on what our plans are for the day and evening. We hope to have a huge turnout this year! 
The E-Day Benefit Dinner and Awards Ceremony will be held at the Woman’s Club of Charleston, on the corner of Elizabeth St. and Virginia Ave. from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Awards will be presented at 7:15 pm

Kevin Smith (posthumously) ~ Mother Jones

Angie Rosser ~ Linda Schnautz Environmental Courage

Evan Hansen ~ Don Gasper Science in the Public Interest

Karen Ireland ~ Laura Forman Grassroots Activist

Entertainment will include live music by Marium Bria and Ammed Solomon as well as a performance by Jude Binder, accompanied by Andy Park and a poetry reading by Crystal Good. Donations of $15 per person will be appreciated at the door and there will be a cash bar. Proceeds go in support of the WV Environmental Council’s lobbying efforts. Please visit www.wvecouncil.org for more information. 

February 22: Rainwater Harvesting and Water Solutions Workshop, 10am-4pm

Rock Lake Community Life Center, South Charleston, WV

A free & full day on the basic ins and outs of Rainwater Harvesting and other water solutions. In addition to in-person presentations and some in person hands-on, this will feature students of renowned water harvesting expert Brad Lancaster live and presenting via Skype and answering questions. More info here.

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