Candidate for WV Governor
Morgantown/Kingwood Branch of the NAACP 2020 Questionnaire
A. How do you plan to improve access to health care and public health information for minority communities in West Virginia?
Pandemics such as COVID-19 will likely be the norm rather than exception in the foreseeable future. West Virginia must use part of the money from the CARES ACT to recreate the Civil DEFENSE System we once had in the 1950’s. No person (I mean EVERYONE) in West Virginia must be more than 30 minutes from medical services and/or treatment. Under the recreated system, potable water, safe food, and basic medical supplies would be kept at readily accessible locations around the state. Local teams will be trained and ready to answer calls in time of pandemic or disaster.
B. In what ways should police departments and bystanding police officers be held accountable for their officers’ violent acts and misconduct?
The Police “FIRST AMENDMENT” must disappear from the legal lexicon. I favor RE FUNDING POLICE by supplementing police with psychologists, sociologists, crisis management teams, counselors, and persons well trained to deescalate a bad situation. If these efforts fail, then force may have to be applied. The above personnel must have direct knowledge of the communities in which they will serve. But for white skin, I would have been killed by a cop in an incident in Charles Town 20+ years ago. Pay for this with CARES ACT funds.
C. In what ways have you fought discrimination that targeted people of color either in the workplace or in the community?
You’ve given me a tough one here. I supported measures and legislation to help keep black farmers on their lands during the 1980’s and 1990’s. This was through the International Farmers’ and Ranchers’ Congress and Farm Aid. Locally, I have supported making agricultural land available to minorities (or anybody else) who wanted to engage in small scale agriculture. I have supported microloans for any families who want to launch specialty businesses. The lenders have fought this tooth and claw. It was hard to come to grips with a racist upbringing and turn away from it.
D. What actions will you take against voter suppression?
I have reported U S Census enumerators who were not doing their jobs properly. (I was a census enumerator) Undercounting neighborhoods is a form of voter suppression. I have handed ballot applications to people too intimidated to obtain these for themselves.I have offered to transport voters to the polls. As a poll worker, I did my best to make sure every voter who came to our precinct was made welcome, assisted when requested, escorted when needed.
E. Do you support the following bills, which have been introduced in the WV legislature?
(Please recall that as GOVERNOR I can only propose and advocate. I cannot enact any legislation.)