WVPA Executive Director Don Smith advises all editors to watch for first story in the WVPA’s Kids’ Health Series.
“Please alert your newsroom staff, especially the weekend editors, that the West Virginia Press Association on Saturday – and again on Sunday – will be distributing the first article in a series on the WV Health Kids & Families Coalition’s 2013 policy symposium. The articles are for release Sunday and afterward,” Smith said. .
The WVPA will track this effort from it’s a broad-based beginning at public forums through the 2014 Legislative session. George Hohmann, former business editor for the Charleston Daily Mail, will report on all aspects of the Coalition’s efforts to improve the lives of children in West Virginia. This material will be available to all WVPA member newspapers at no additional cost.
Here is the coalition’s explanation of the effort:
“West Virginia’s kids are struggling. The child poverty rate is growing. Now 1 in 4 children live below the poverty line, and nearly half (48%) live in families below the “self-sufficiency” standard – the amount it takes to cover the basics without assistance. Leaders across sectors – government, business, labor, advocacy, faith, and everyday families – recognize the need for bold policy responses to this crisis.
We propose a 2013 policy symposium where small groups of stakeholders (including lawmakers, advocates, and working families) have the time and space to begin to discuss and strategize 16 bold, substantial policy solutions to the crisis of child poverty. (See reverse side for latest DRAFT list of sessions and invitees.)
In advance of the Symposium, we would host regional policy workshops where advocates and everyday citizens can gain basic policy-making skills and take a crack at turning their ideas into policy proposals. Then, at the Symposium, groups of advocates, allies, families, and lawmakers would present concrete, fully-fledged policy proposals – that would then be discussed, refined, and strategized around. On the last day of the Symposium, each policy group would present their recommendations to the Senate Select Committee on Children and Poverty. Following the symposium and Select Committee meeting, we would issue public reports and engage in coordinated advocacy around these issues to try to move these issues during the 2014 legislative session and beyond.”
The WVPA will provide continuing coverage for your newspaper, including photos and a logo. George will track the effort from planning meetings, to public events and legislative presentations. We think this will be an informative piece of journalism that will have reader appeal across the state. We hope you will include it in your package of statewide news.
Again, editors should watch for emails or download directly from the wpress.org. All material will also be posted on the WVPA’s recently upgraded website – wvpress.org – for downloading.