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Mountain Party Opposes GOP Assault on Public Education

CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA 一 Three years ago, West Virginia education workers set the stage for what would be a series of strikes by teachers and school service personnel across the country. 55 Strong showed the power of solidarity in 2018, striking for a much-deserved raise and the promise of a permanent fix to PEIA, and once again in 2019 over the nefarious omnibus education bill. Now, Republican legislators are putting forward a series of retaliatory bills aimed at breaking this working class movement. Codifying the illegality of public employee strikes, imposing rigid guidelines against “divisive” curricula, reducing the requirements for becoming a certified teacher, and advancing charter school legislation that will drain public resources are how Republican legislators show their appreciation to our educators.

The Mountain Party opposes in the strongest possible terms these anti-education bills. They do nothing to advance the cause of equitable education in West Virginia, nor do they provide the tools necessary for retaining qualified educators. Instead, these bills will simply provide the impetus for veteran teachers to flee the state, opening the doors to further privatization and decimation of public schools.

We believe that all public employees should have the right to engage in collective bargaining, and must retain the right to engage in collective action where needed.

We believe that our teachers know our students best, and can devise engaging lessons without the imposing oversight of those who have never been in their position.

We believe that education certification should not be so brazenly loosened, as teaching is a highly-skilled profession and should attract those with the knowledge and pedagogy to work in that field.

Furthermore, we believe that charter schools and educational savings accounts unnecessarily drain funds away from public schools and place them in the hands of private corporations. The Mountain Party unequivocally supports West Virginia’s teachers and school service personnel in their opposition to these reactive bills. 55 Strong began during a time of deep crisis in our state. Their perseverance and courage rang out from the hills and ignited a revolution nationwide. Now, with the eyes of the country set yet again on West Virginia, Republicans are showing how they truly wish to govern when no opposition is given to them. Undoubtedly, our educators are worn out from having to fight this fight year after year. Only true solidarity with our educators from all working class people in West Virginia can stop these attacks on our education system.

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Mountain Party Joins Appalachian People’s Front

SALEM, WEST VIRGINIA 一 On February 7th, the State Executive Committee of the West Virginia Mountain Party voted to affiliate with the Appalachian People’s Front (APF), a newly formed left-wing coalition dedicated to mutual aid, political education, and community organizing in West Virginia and surrounding states. Like the Mountain Party, APF is dedicated to grassroots organizing and the building of independent working-class institutions outside of the two-party system.

Founded with the participation of Mountain Party members, the Appalachian People’s Front has since late December already delivered over 300 cases of water to Minden; organized food distribution in Upshur County, Raleigh County, and Fairmont, feeding up to 300 people a week; and handed out clothing in Boone County. By affiliating with this coalition, the Mountain Party will lend its support to the expansion of such activities and dedicate itself to working not only from within the electoral system but also outside of it. The Mountain Party recognizes that the needs of West Virginians need to be met both in the long-term through progressive legislation and in the short-term through mutual aid and community organizing.

Other organizations which have thus far also chosen to affiliate with the Appalachian People’s Front include the Movement for Peoples Democracy WV, Kanawha Valley DSA, and North Central WV DSA. The Mountain Party joins these organizations and future affiliates in directly serving the people of West Virginia in ways which the two major parties have failed, as we aim in the future to serve the people via a popularly elected Mountain government.

The Mountain Party is the West Virginia state party affiliate of the Green Party of the United States and is ballot-qualified through 2024.

Organizations and individuals interested in joining the APF or wanting to learn more can send an email to apf1859@yahoo.com.

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Mountain Party Responds To West Virginia Lawmaker’s Participation in the Capitol Insurrection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 7, 2021

SALEM, WEST VIRGINIA 一 The West Virginia Mountain Party condemns the outrageous and ridiculous action of breaking into the United States Capitol Building, in which Delegate Derrick Evans, a Republican from the 19th District, joined the mob in a show of hostility. As a new member of the House of Delegates, Evans swore to support the constitution of the United States. Apparently he does not.

According to WV Metro News, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R) stated, “What occurred today is unpatriotic, un-American and I condemn it in the strongest terms possible.”

The strongest terms possible would be to demand the resignation of Evans and any other WV legislator who participated in the insurrection at the Capitol.

No election was stolen in 2020. If the fringe elements of the Republican Party really are concerned with election fairness they would be part of the growing movement for electoral reform. Of course this is not the case, as real democracy is not compatible with the far-right’s vision of fascism for America.

The Mountain Party, per our platform, is committed to non-violence. We believe the best avenue to create change is through peaceful organizing.

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Mountain Party Sets Records For State Legislature And Secures Ballot Access Through 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 4, 2020

SALEM, WEST VIRGINIA 一 The Mountain Party has received more than 46% of the vote needed to retain its ballot access in the 2020 gubernatorial election. Danny Lutz received over 11,000 votes at 1.46% of the total vote, only needing 1% per state code.

In the 2020 primary, the Mountain Party re-elected its two Conservation District Supervisors to the Eastern Panhandle and Southern conservation districts. Gearing up for the general election, the party knew it would be a challenge.

New records were set in the State Senate election. Donald Kinnie received nearly 20% in the District 15 Senate race with 9,880 votes. This accounts for 1.34% of the total votes statewide received by the Mountain Party for the upper chamber. Compared to the party’s best statewide record from 2010, the raw vote count is nearly three times larger and the percentage has nearly doubled.

Another record includes a vote increase for House of Delegates compared to the previous presidential election. In the 59th House District, Robert Smith received 1,209 votes or 12.6% in a competitive three-way race in the deep red constituency. 

Another notable result of the night was David Tabb’s run for Jefferson County Assessor, where he received over 33% of the vote.

Mountain Party State Chair, Denise Binion, credits the party’s first ever candidate pledge for the improved performance. “Implementing a candidate pledge has helped to insure committed candidates who are serious about running for office.”

Despite not yet breaking through into the legislature, the Mountain Party is committed to policy advocacy and voter education. Its legislative priorities for the 2021 session will soon be announced, with primary focus on electoral reform. 

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MOUNTAIN PARTY NOMINATES DANNY LUTZ FOR GOVERNOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(WEST VIRGINIA — June 20, 2020) The West Virginia Mountain Party today nominated Daniel P. “Danny” Lutz for Governor at its biennial State Convention, which was conducted via Zoom video conferencing. The convention was originally planned to be held in Braxton County.

Re-elected on the June 9th election, Lutz has served as Conservation District Supervisor for the Eastern Panhandle, representing Jefferson County since 2016. Lutz, a Commissioned Air Force Veteran, is one of two elected Conservation District Supervisors who are active members of the Mountain Party. 

Former Mayor of Ranson and Former President of the Jefferson County Commission, Gregory Lance, was nominated for Jefferson County Sheriff. Other candidates nominated by convention include Donald Kinnie for State Senate (15), Robert E. Smith for House of Delegates (59), and Mary Kinnie for House of Delegates (60).

Nominated by primary election include Steve Hamilton for House of Delegates, seeking one of four seats, in the 48th District and David Tabb for Jefferson County Assessor, where no Republican filed to run for office.

Business addressed by the party included officer elections and amending party documents. Amendments were adopted to the bylaws to clearly affirm the party’s identity as West Virginia’s Green Party, in addition to updating its membership structure and nominating procedure. The convention was recessed to address platform amendments in the near future. 

The timing of the State Convention coincides with a major announcement from the Howie Hawkins / Angela Walker campaign for President and Vice President. Today the ticket has clinched enough delegates to secure the Green Party nomination and will be on the ballot in West Virginia on the “Mountain” ballot line. 

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Updated June 21, 4:35 p.m.

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Condemnation of Trump’s Intention to Designate “Antifa” a Terrorist Organization

The recent decision of President Trump to seek the designation of “Antifa” as a terrorist organization is alarming. “Antifa” is not an organization; it has no leaders, no membership, no meetings, and no structure. “Antifa” is simply a contraction of the term “anti-fascist.” And what are the goals of anti-fascists? As our friends in the Green Party of California stated in their recent statement: “AntiFa defends and supports the right of oppressed and marginalized people to protest, march, and engage in civil disobedience in pursuit of justice. While it is never our intent to engage in violent or destructive behavior, we cannot and will not take responsibility for telling people how they are allowed to be righteously outraged. We prefer and encourage non-violent action. We also understand that some people aren’t feeling that nice anymore. Their feelings are entirely justified, and it is neither our role nor our privilege to tell them otherwise.”

If pushed forward, the designation of “Antifa” as a terrorist organization would give the Trump administration and future administrations free reign to target, harass, arrest, and neutralize anybody who dares to openly oppose fascism, especially those who consider themselves progressives, socialists, anarchists, or communists. Indeed, we have already witnessed such antagonistic state behavior from the former FBI COINTELPRO program in the 20th century, and we are witnessing already the President’s calls for lethal force against those who are standing up against state violence, who are mostly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. This is unacceptable.

Fascism is capitalism in decay. It is an attempt by capitalist state and corporate forces to tighten their grip by actively opposing a society in which all people are guaranteed the basic necessities of life. A society in which there are no longer oppressive social strata which divide people by class, race, nationality, or creed. A society in which all people are treated equally — this is the demand of anti-fascists and it is the demand of the Mountain Party. In the words of the late great James Connolly: We only want the earth.

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Mountain Party: Calls For West Virginia Green New Deal, Opposes Boondoggle Appalachian Storage Hub

The Mountain Party proposes a Green New Deal for West Virginia, to create high paying, secure jobs to build the future economic infrastructure based in clean, renewable energy. Our goal is a 100% clean energy system by 2030, in addition to reconstructing all economic sectors for ecological sustainability, from agriculture and manufacturing to housing and transportation.

The Green New Deal for West Virginia must include an Economic Bill of Rights, a concept introduced by President Roosevelt in 1944 to develop programs to secure basic economic human rights for all. Additionally, it must include a Green Economy Reconstruction Program, to reinvigorate rural communities, create living wage jobs, and protect the environment.

Once feedback from the public is gathered, the Mountain Party will devise specific policies to address

Our detailed Economic Bill of Rights will include the following:

  • Job Guarantee
  • Basic Income Guarantee
  • Housing and Transportation For All
  • Medicare For All / National Health Service 
  • Lifelong Free Public Education
  • A Secure Retirement

Our Green Economy Reconstruction Program will include the following:

  • Interstate Renewable Electricity System
    • West Virginia’s Geothermal potential alone could power the Eastern Seaboard
  • Public Power Utilities
  • Public-ownership of fossil fuels (to be phased out)
  • Investment in Public Transit
  • Energy Efficient Buildings with Rooftop Solar
  • Publicly Owned High-Speed Internet System
  • Infrastructure Reconstruction
  • Green Manufacturing
  • Agriculture and Rural Reconstruction
  • Civilian Conservation Corps
  • Zero-Waste Recycling

In order to achieve these goals, we can no longer continue to build new fossil fuel infrastructure. 

Therefore, the West Virginia Mountain Party opposes the creation of the Appalachian Storage Hub petrochemical complex, a short-sighted, boondoggle that will only further exacerbate climate change and increase the likelihood of an environmental disaster.

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RESULTS – 2020 Presidential Primary

contact@mountainpartywv.net

Howie Hawkins has won West Virginia’s Mountain (Green) presidential primary, securing all five Presidential Nominating Convention Delegates. In addition, Hawkins won the majority of the vote in all three congressional districts.

No other candidates secured enough votes to win a delegate. The Mountain Party uses simple proportional representation to allocate delegates, without the use of fractional delegates nor defaulting to uncommitted delegates. West Virginia’s Delegates are bound to the Mountain Party’s binding primary vote.

The following table is the official primary results:

CandidatesVote PercentDelegate Count
Howie Hawkins78.3%5 Delegates
David Rolde8.7%0 Delegates
Jesse Ventura (write-in)8.7%0 Delegates
Dario Hunter4.3%0 Delegates

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Mountain Party Donates to Paden City, Calls for Radical Action

The Mountain Party, West Virginia’s Green Party affiliate, in the Northern Region donated $550 to the people of Paden City for the purchasing of water and medical tests for the town’s residents who are currently experiencing a water crisis.

According to West Virginia Public Broadcasting, “Late last month, the city-run water authority sent a notice to residents warning PCE, [a chemical commonly used in dry cleaning], was present in the water at nearly three times the federal limit. The notice stated the water was safe to drink in the short term, but could lead to long term health problems including an increased risk of cancer. City officials are working on a fix, but some residents are asking both how long they’ve been exposed to the chemical and if that exposure may have impacted their health.” 

The issue of water contamination is unfortunately not new to West Virginia, and this most recent example in Paden City only proves to further demonstrate the immoralities of capitalism. Under the current system, basic human rights such as clean water and health services are not guaranteed and are instead held hostage by capitalists and governments for the sake of profit. The Mountain Party of West Virginia, therefore, calls for the socialization of the all critical infrastructure, including water and healthcare services. This means direct, democratic community control over all assets which are essential for the functioning of society and the livelihood of all citizens. The Mountain Party, furthermore, calls for the implementation of a process for recall elections, so that in the event that the elected officials of any polity fail to carry out their duties, they may be recalled by the citizens for a new election. For the citizens of Paden City, this would grant them the power to petition for the recall of any elected official which they feel has failed them during this current crisis. 

Crises such as this will continue to occur so long as we do not hold out elected officials to account and so long as clean water and healthcare services are not guaranteed as human rights. A radical transformation of our political and economic systems is required in order for all citizens of Paden City and West Virginia more broadly to truly live wildly, wonderfully, and freely.

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Statement of Solidarity With Transgender and Nonbinary Individuals

The Mountain Party supports the human rights and dignity of transgender and nonbinary individuals. West Virginia has the highest rate of transgender youth in the country; therefore, it would be amiss of us to not address transphobia within another accredited State Green Party.

The recent conduct of the Georgia Green Party is unacceptable and we sincerely hope that the party will rescind its recent platform amendments (which contradict the national platform) and work with the Lavender Caucus on justice and reconciliation.

The rights of the LGBTQ community are non-negotiable. We thank every State Green Party, every candidate, and every party member standing in solidarity with the Lavender Greens.

The Mountain Party State Executive Committee, by unanimous decision, signed onto the following petition by the Lavender Caucus and encourage the Green National Committee to take an active role in righting the situation in Georgia.

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