In July, WV CAG and partners launched Lunch Out Loud, a webinar series focused on challenges to our democracy and a series of webinars focused on challenges to our democracy and the actions we can take to protect our freedom to vote and hold those in power accountable.
If you missed our previous webinars, no worries. You can find the videos on the WV Citizens for Clean Elections Facebook page.
Our first Lunch Out Loud on July 28, featured Atiba Ellis, Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and Anthony Majestro, a Charleston attorney with experience in election law, discussing recent decisions by the US Supreme Court that affect voting rights, and what they mean for ballot access in West Virginia. The conversation was moderated by former Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.
In August, our series continued with two events. Recently the WV Legislature has taken extraordinary measures to fast-track legislation and keep the public out of the process. On August 24th a panel of lobbyists, former legislators, and journalists discussed what is happening, the lack of transparency and the impacts on democratic participation.
- Eli Baumwell, Policy Director, ACLU of WV
- Margaret Chapman-Pomponio, Executive Director, WV FREE
- Former Delegate Barbara Fleischauer
- Phil Kabler, Columnist/ Retired Statehouse Reporter, the Charleston Gazette-Mail
The conversation was moderated by former Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.
We also held a “bonus” event to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington on Monday, August 28th to hear from West Virginians who were there on that historic day. Al Anderson, Rev. Ron English, Gibbs Kinderman, and Betty Rivard shared memories and reflections from that day and hearing Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Community advocate and organizer Kathy Ferguson facilitated the conversation.
The series continued in October with a discussion on the challenges that youth face in our democracy hosted by Takeiya Smith and student leaders from Young West Virginia. Former Secretary of State Natalie Tennant co-facilitated the discussion along with Takeiya. Students shared their experiences mobilizing peers in the electoral process. The goal was to uplift youth’s pivotal role in civic engagement.
We are looking forward to hosting more conversations in 2024 and continuing the fight for a more inclusive, transparent, and accountable democracy.