As you may know, OVEC is a member group of the Alliance for Appalachia, which is in the midst of raising funds by Sept. 15 to bring 40 representatives from member organizations to Washington, D.C. this fall to tell their stories about mountaintop removal impacts, black lung, and the region’s efforts to create a sustainable economy.
By bringing local leaders to share their stories and advocate for community-led change, the Alliance demonstrates the reason groups like ours worked together to create it: to amplify local work with a regional voice while building leadership and capacity to implement a just transition.
Your support of this effort will help:
- Build leadership and capacity among residents of Appalachia and members of the Alliance by providing scholarships and training so that they may meaningfully engage with elected representatives.
- Meet with members of Congress to educate them on the health impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining in our communities and advocate support for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. For decades, coal companies have pushed their costs onto people living near their operations and bailed on promises to provide healthcare to coal miners struggling with black lung. The rate of coal miners lung disease has doubled in less than a decade, creating an industrial epidemic across Appalachia. As we work for a just transition, we must stand up for our neighbors and hold the coal industry accountable to their debts and devastation.
- Urge members of Congress to invest in our region by passing the RECLAIM Act (HR 1731). This unique, bipartisan proposal would release $1 billion of existing funds to clean up toxic pollution on abandoned mine sites and promote community-led development. We see reclamation as a key component to achieving clean water, while also providing an opportunity to boost development and job creation.
- Take action alongside allies in D.C. to reclaim the narratives and visions of people living in Appalachia by providing space for our members to tell their stories and experiences with confidence.
Grassroots support in 2016 made all the difference when the Alliance brought nearly 40 community leaders to D.C. Together, we met with more than 35 congressional representatives and eight federal agencies that have key roles in protecting our communities from environmental injustice, including two meetings at the White House with executive administration offices. The total cost of this upcoming trip is estimated to be more than $27,000.
Help build leadership and capacity and provide a platform for grassroots leaders to speak truth to power in Washington, D.C. Join the efforts by contributing $10, $50, $100 or more by September 15!