Monday, July 27, 2020

4 State Coalition Unveils Blueprint To 'Reimagine Appalachia' Economy For Workers, Communities, Environment

A broad and diverse coalition of thought leaders and organizations from West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio recently released a
Reimagine Appalachia blueprint to expand economic opportunity in the region while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The blueprint outlines a vision for vibrant Appalachian communities where everyone is paid enough to support themselves and their family, where future generations can put down roots, where they have clean air to breathe and water to drink, whether they are white, Black, Brown or Indigenous.

The plan is built on three pillars:

-- Expanding opportunity through public investments: This blueprint calls on policymakers to maximize good union jobs, ensure access to union jobs for Black, Indigenous, women and low-wage workers, and ensure the community benefits from federal investments via public input and community oversight.

-- Building a 21st century sustainable economy: In addition, the blueprint demands officials to restore our damaged lands and waters, build a sustainable transportation system and create new jobs for transit workers, revive the Civilian Conservation Corps, modernize the electric grid, and grow manufacturing by making it cleaner and more efficient while also making Appalachia a hub for electric vehicle production and alternatives to single-use plastic.

-- Making sure all working people share in prosperity the blueprint advocates for union rights, better pay, benefits and local ownership models for working people across all industries in the region..

In 2017, during the longest period of economic expansion in our nation’s history, the poverty rate in Appalachian Ohio was 17.2 percent, 17.8 percent in Appalachian W.VA., 13.3 percent in Appalachian Pennsylvania and 25.6 percent in Appalachian Kentucky.

The coalition to Reimagine Appalachia, was born out of a broad recognition that years of policies pushed by absentee corporations and their politicians have created an economy that doesn’t work for most people living in the Ohio River Valley. 

There continues to be a desperate need for family-sustaining jobs in communities of all sizes. This is especially true because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hamstrung already-struggling local economies in the region, while limited federal assistance to families is set to run out. However, COVID adds to existing economic pain in the region.

Appalachia has long provided the raw materials for the prosperity of the nation, while the region itself has suffered high rates of poverty and unemployment, and low wages. Bad actors in the extractive industries have also left our land scarred, and our workers and neighbors sick, particularly our neighbors of color.

In response, a group of economic, environmental, and community leaders, along with grassroots organizations came together to brainstorm the best pathway to a 21st century economy that’s good for workers, communities, and the environment.

In the coming months, the coalition will roll out a series of white papers fleshing out the details of the framework. 

During that period, it continues to seek additional input and support from interested stakeholders, union leaders, grassroots and grasstops organizations, thought leaders, and elected officials. 

The Reimagine Appalachia coalition will build the vision of a 21st century Appalachia and then work together to make that vision a reality.

Coalition members in Pennsylvania include: Climate Reality Pittsburgh, Communities First Sewickley, Foundation for PA Watersheds, FracTracker, Izaak Walton League of America-Allegheny County, PASA Sustainable Agriculture, PennFuture, PA Budget and Policy Center, PA Council of Churches, Plant-Based Pittsburgh, Protect PT (Penn-Trafford), ReImagine Beaver County, ReImagine Butler County, Slippery Rock University Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator, SWPA Environmental Health Project, and The Battle of Homestead Foundation.

For more information, visit the Reimagine Appalachia website.  Click Here to subscribe to their newsletter.

[Posted: July 27, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner