On Wednesday, March 31st, a group of organizations announced the formation of the “WV New Jobs Coalition” at a virtual press conference, and their Ten Days of Action, April 1st through the 10th, culminating in a 3-city “Jammin’ For Jobs” live and live-streamed concert event on April 10th in Charleston, Morgantown, and Martinsburg at 1PM.
“Join us for Transformational Healing by Renewing and Investing in a Vibrant Economy,” said Alexandra Gallo, Organizing Director of the WV New Jobs Coalition. “Let West Virginia THRIVE! This event will bring Joy To The People through music, art, culture, and story-telling.”
- Mayor Amy Goodwin, City of Charleston, and Angelica Armstrong, Owner of StrongRapport (Charleston, WV)
- Amanda Pitzer, Executive Director Friends of the Cheat, and LJ Giuliani, Proprietor of 123 Pleasant Street (Morgantown, WV)
- Stewart Acuff, Organizer & Union Man, and Natalie Grantham of Tudor Hall Farm (Martinsburg, WV)
- The Company Stores, The Carpenter Ants, and John D. Morris (Charleston, WV)
- The Hillbilly Gypsies and The Greens (Morgantown, WV)
- Emily Miller & Jesse Milnes, and Mink’s Miracle Medicine (Martinsburg, WV)
Interpreter signing will be provided for the event by Martec Washington.
Crystal Good, Creative Director of the Jammin’ For Jobs project, had a powerful vision and coordinated the creation of “The People’s Flag”, a collaborative community art project by artists, youth, and community members from across the state. It was inspired by Faith Ringold and Appalachian quilts makers. “My favorite part of this project was the youth art,” said Crystal. “It was wonderful to peek into their hopes and imaginations. It’s pure creativity and that is what will build the future!”
Event Art will be provided by: youth Artists at Step By Step, Ariene Shomo, Robby Moore, Emily Hilliard, Ellie Lepp, Sopie Alexander, Elizabeth Zach, Charlie “Jupiter” Hamilton, KC Carter, Jamie Miller, Saja Montague, Houston McIntyre, Whitney Olson, and so many more!
West Virginia Working Families Party, the Sierra Club of West Virginia, and West Virginia Citizen Action Group are all members of the WV New Jobs Coalition. During their press conference on March 31st, they brought to light how the THRIVE Act will bring 50,000 jobs a year, and $5.2 Billion Dollars, to West Virginia (Read the Jobs Report here).
They ask West Virginians to call on Sen. Manchin and Sen. Capito to support the THRIVE ACT.
The “Jammin’ For Jobs” event is part of Recovery Recess, a multi-week campaign taking place while members of the new Congress return to their districts. Organizers are calling on Congress to pass a comprehensive economic recovery and infrastructure bill, the THRIVE Act, which invests $1 trillion a year into creating 15 million good climate and care jobs and advancing racial, gender, and economic justice.
“West Virginia’s economy has been in desperate need of diversification for decades and it means that too many have been forced out in search of better opportunities elsewhere,” said Ryan Frankenberry, WV WFP state director. “The THRIVE Act gives us a path towards 50k new WV jobs in infrastructure, agriculture, clean energy, the care economy, and public health. We’re counting on our federal officials to take bold action so that our children see West Virginia as a place they want to stay. ”
“THRIVE is exactly what our state needs to both retain our own and attract new residents to West Virginia,” said Gary Zuckett, Executive Director of WV Citizen Action. “Unlike the disinvestment proposals now running at the Legislature, THRIVE would drive new investment in our state to create the jobs needed for our families to prosper.”
From West Virginia to Arizona to Alaska, communities that have been excluded from economic opportunity in the past are reminding their senators and representatives of Congress’s historic chance to rebuild and renew. A multiracial coalition of workers, justice advocates, young people, climate activists, and more are taking up this message around the country during the Congressional recess.
A map of actions taking place throughout the recess, with more being added each day, can be found at www.recoveryrecess.org.