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‘Our Children, Our Future’ Campaign returns

Journal photo by John McVey Members of the Legislative and Community Champions Panel share a laugh Tuesday during the Eastern Regional Policy Workshop and Community Training at Blue Ridge CTC. From left, state Delegate Stephen Skinner, D-Jefferson; Delegate Tiffany Lawrence, D-Jefferson; Audrey Morris, director of Morgan County Starting Points; Delegate Jason Barrett, D-Berkeley; state Sen. Donald Cookman, D-Hampshire; and Stephanie Tyree, director of community engagement and policy for the W.Va. Community Development Hub, who moderated the panel discussion.
Journal photo by John McVey
Members of the Legislative and Community Champions Panel share a laugh Tuesday during the Eastern Regional Policy Workshop and Community Training at Blue Ridge CTC. From left, state Delegate Stephen Skinner, D-Jefferson; Delegate Tiffany Lawrence, D-Jefferson; Audrey Morris, director of Morgan County Starting Points; Delegate Jason Barrett, D-Berkeley; state Sen. Donald Cookman, D-Hampshire; and Stephanie Tyree, director of community engagement and policy for the W.Va. Community Development Hub, who moderated the panel discussion.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Michael Wuest, a member of the Youth Leadership Association at Martinsburg High School, wanted to know what is needed so young people like himself would be able to stay in West Virginia.

Creating jobs and fighting substance abuse was the consensus of the four state delegates gathered for a question and answer session during the Eastern Regional Policy Workshop and Community Training Tuesday.

“We need a clean workforce,” state Delegate Jason Barrett, D-Berkeley, answered. “We can’t attract business to West Virginia if we don’t have an educated workforce and a reliable workforce.”

State Sen. Donald Cookman, D-Hampshire, called drugs the No. 1 problem facing West Virginia.

Barrett and Cookman were joined by Delegates Stephen Skinner and Tiffany Lawrence, both D-Jefferson, as well as Audrey Morris, director of Morgan County Starting Points, for the Legislative and Community Champions Panel.

The workshop was sponsored by the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, West Virginia Community Development Hub and the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. It was hosted locally by United Way of the Eastern Panhandle.

Held at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, this was the fourth in a series of workshops held around the state for community leaders to receive training in how to advocate for policies, conduct local training sessions and how to increase voter turnout.

During afternoon breakout sessions, the about 100 attendees discussed several policies that the Our Children, Our Future Campaign will lobby for during the state legislative session that begins in January. The campaign works to have policies become law that can lift children out of poverty.

Twenty-seven policies have been identified for the campaign. A policy symposium to develop strategies to lobby legislators will be held in Charleston on Sept. 9-10…

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