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Campaign funded by West Virginians

I love this state and I love this town! Although I’m a native Pennsylvanian, the majority of my life has been spent in Elkins, first as a public school teacher and now as a “professional volunteer,” so my husband tells everyone.

Here are a few things you may or may not know about West Virginia.

1. West Virginians are No. 1 in the time we spend with our neighbors.

2. West Virginians are in the top five in various measures of charitable giving, volunteer service, military service and the time we spend with our extended families.

I think you would agree these are commendable attributes and ones of which we should all be proud.

Unfortunately for 150-plus years outside interests have gotten rich off of West Virginia. First it was timber, then coal, now natural gas, agribusiness, and big “pharma.” Our state is rich in resources, but it’s citizens have seen very few of the benefits.

Enter WV Can’t Wait, Stephen Smith for Governor 2020. Stephen, the former executive director of the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition and West Virginia Living’s 2018 Citizen of the Year, is dedicated to growing an economy that works for all West Virginians, not out of state corporations. He is the face of the grass roots movement WV Can’t Wait and has visited all 55 counties twice since declaring for the governor’s race. He has also recruited hundreds of volunteers who are living and working here and know the struggles of our state. The core principles of the WV Can’t Wait movement are as follows:

1. The economy should work for all West Virginians, not just the well connected or out of state corporations.

2. Our healthcare system should make us healthy, not broke.

3. We should treat the drug crisis like the healthcare crisis it is.

4. Our children should get a world class education no matter who their parents are.

5. Our government belongs to all of us.

The WV Can’t Wait campaign is funded by West Virginians, not corporate PACs. Listening is the top priority not messaging. It is a campaign built on sharing stories, having conversations, community involvement, positive not negative messages and lifting each other up. There is no “us” versus “them” mentality and no division by race, age, gender, religion or education.

It’s time for a governor who listens to the citizens of the state and isn’t beholding to the large outside corporate interests. It’s time for West Virginia to go in a new direction and focus on the needs of the people. It’s time for a governor who will prioritize education and invest in an educational system that prepares all our children for the future. It’s time we use the natural resources of our state wisely to help our own citizens keeping in mind what’s best for future generations.

If you’re interested in learning more about WV Can’t Wait and Stephen Smith for Governor 2020 go to wvcantwait.com.

Cindy Stemple

Elkins