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More details may be available in the most recent Newsletter. Also see Local Events, CCSJ Events, and News.
Events Outside of the Morgantown Area
Your Voice WV
Many groups are co-sponsoring this citizen lobbying activity. According to the Facebook posting “Join a coalition of state and local organizations and groups to learn how to effectively talk with your elected officials about progressive issues that matter to you! “This training will provide information and resources on how to speak with your elected officials, focusing on your state representatives (but transferable to local and federal level officials, as well). We'll also dive into some messaging tips on a variety of issues and how to connect these issues in a strategic and effective manner. Networking time will be included in the training to learn more from policy/issue experts and get involved in organizations or groups you're most interested in. “This event is FREE, and all are welcome. We'll be in the Judge Black Annex at 317 Market Street.” Another event on February 13, similar to the one above, will be in the Greek Alumni Room in the Performing Arts Center.
Civil Liberties Lobby Day
Join the West Virginia Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on February 8th for this annual lobby day at the State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The email invitation says:
“Dear ACLU of West Virginia Family,
Tired of feeling like your hands are tied behind your back in the current political climate? Searching for ways to make your voice heard? Then join ACLU-WV and our partners on Thursday, February 8 for the 2018 All Kinds Are Welcome Here Civil Liberties Lobby Day at the Capitol Building in Charleston."
“We've got an incredible lineup of events throughout the day. Everything from a crash-course in citizen lobbying to a joint rally with hundreds of our closest friends to meeting with legislators. THIS is the event to learn how to make the most noise efficiently and effectively. If we're to hold back the impending attacks on our rights, we must stand together and let our policy-makers know that our civil liberties are not up for debate!”
“We'll be partnering with incredible folks from all over the state again this year during what is sure to be a tough legislative session. We'll have an advocacy training to make sure you are comfortable talking with your elected officials about issues that matter to you, we'll have a large press conference featuring our lawmakers and other members of the community and we'll view a floor session from the House and Senate Galleries. Come stand with us in solidarity to show the West Virginia Legislature that West Virginia should be a place that welcomes and respects ALL people!”
Partner hosting organizations this year include the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, Fairness West Virginia, WV FREE, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Rainbow Pride of West Virginia, Inc., and West Virginia Citizen Action Group. There is no cost to attend. You can register here .
Time to Lobby For a More Inclusive Human Rights Act
Monongalia County’s Delegate John Williams is a co-sponsor of HB 4319 to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the categories covered by the West Virginia Human Rights Act. CCSJ and other groups have lobbied for this in many different sessions of the legislature, and more than a dozen cities across the state have added these protections to local ordinances, but it is still legal elsewhere in the state to discriminate based on these categories. The brief summary of the bill is “A BILL to amend and reenact §5-11-2, §5-11-3, §5-11-4, §5-11-8, §5-11-9 and §5-11-13 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §5-11A-3, §5-11A-5, §5-11A-6, and §5-11A-7 of said code, all relating to unlawful discriminatory practices in categories covered by the Human Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act; prohibiting discrimination based upon age and sexual orientation; or gender identity and defining sexual orientation and gender identity.” You can find the full text here. The bill has been referred to the House Industry and Labor Committee with a subsequent reference to the House Judiciary Committee. You can track its status here.
The Democrat co-sponsors, in addition to Delegate Williams, are Delegates Mike Pushkin (lead sponsor and a member of the Industry and Labor Committee), Tim Miley, Dana Lynch, Chad Lovejoy, William Hartman, Riley Moore, and Philip Isner (minority vice- chair of the Industry and Labor committee). The Republican co-sponsors are Delegates Ron Walters, Steve Westfall, and Joshua Higginbotham. You can find contact information for all delegates at here.

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