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Paula Jean Swearengin stands in solidarity with workers wearing a red bandana

Labor Rights

We unite behind workers. No matter what we unite behind the principles that will strengthen our democracy, and protect the vulnerable.

Labor rights are human rights

“Unite Our Fight” has become a rallying cry for the Paula Jean Swearengin campaign, but it’s important to be clear about what that means. 
It means that no matter what, we unite behind workers. No matter what, we unite behind families. No matter what we unite behind the principles that will strengthen our democracy, and protect the vulnerable.
Supporting industry means supporting workers. That’s why we support federal protections for Unions and demand a living wage for all individuals working across the country. We all deserve good-paying jobs, that’s why our campaign supports a federal jobs guarantee, worker rights expansion and ending stifling right to work legislation.
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Medicare for All

Healthcare is a human right, plain and simple.

Why Medicare for All?

People shouldn’t have to rely on Emergency Rooms as their primary care providers. No family should have to pay more than their mortgage or housing to pay for their monthly insurance bills. And, no one should put off their own care to avoid outrageous deductibles.
This is why Paula Jean fully supports Medicare for All. The health care industry is one that currently profits off suffering and desperation. In the long run Medicare for All could save the country billions by cutting out the middle-man and investing in true preventative care.
Paula Jean supports investments in more local doctor’s offices and hospitals throughout the state so individuals in need of care won’t have to cross five counties to reach a hospital or doctor and she supports expanding education so that more West Virginians will stay in the state to work as nurses, doctors and care providers.
She also supports decoupling health care with jobs so that each individual can decide their own future without being burdened with the weight of losing their health care plan.
Medicare for All not only makes moral sense, but economic sense. Happier and healthier people are more productive people. West Virginians deserve to be given the opportunity to grow and have the dignity of great healthcare to support them.
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Public Education

Education and economic development go hand in hand. Our communities need great and well-paid teachers, doctors, scientists and entrepreneurs.

Stand with teachers

In 2018, Paula Jean stood alongside teachers across the state who were demanding better pay and benefits. She stands strong on the fact that investments in our teachers and schools is an investment in our children’s futures

Tuition-free state college, community college, & trade schools

To create the expertise and availability of reliable, well-paying jobs means training the workforce of West Virginia. That’s why our campaign supports tuition free state colleges, community colleges and trade schools. West Virginians beginning their careers shouldn’t have to start with the burden of massive debt. 
As the world evolves to become more technologically advanced, Paula Jean believes that West Virginia can do more than just keep pace, we can lead the charge.

Support workers

As a mother of four, Paula Jean understands the burden of the cost of childcare. She supports federal subsidies in childcare, so parents no longer have to choose between the cost of keeping a job and putting food on the table. She also understands that we must improve pre-K as well as K-12 education opportunities for all of our youth and help our children gain an education that will help prepare them for a 21st century workforce.
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A New Deal for West Virginia

West Virginia’s infrastructure has been overlooked for far too long. Paula Jean has said, “no one should have to beg for something as basic as a clean glass of water.”

A New Deal for West Virginia

We deserve more than jobs in a boom-bust industry that we know is unsustainable.We deserve more than to be stuck with clean-up costs and health impacts. We deserve a just transition to a long-term economy that brings good jobs for working families directly to areas that are struggling. West Virginia would be one of the biggest beneficiaries of good paying jobs ushered in by a Green New Deal. 
Paula Jean is a coal miner’s daughter and granddaughter who wants justice and a just transition for her family and community that has sacrificed so much to power this country. She wants to guarantee a bright future for working class families like hers, with kids and grandkids that don’t deserve to bear the burden they’re faced with.
We can do this!

Clean running water and functioning sewer

No one should have to beg for clean water to drink… or to bathe their children. Yet we have near-constant water crises across the state, including Paden City, Minden, Parkersburg, Charleston, and more. And small towns throughout West Virginia struggle to maintain rural water and sewer systems, with constant boil advisories and pipes crumbling into the red clay.

Paula Jean will fight to make sure no more children and families have to pay the costs of corporate greed.

Broadband for all, as a public utility

Industry is rapidly changing. West Virginia’s economic growth is stifled by a lack of access to modern telecommunications services. And now, in the time of COVID, our children’s futures are at risk because of lack of internet access. 
If we want to grow our economy and ensure that all WV kids have safe access to public education, we must call for federal and statewide investments in broadband and telecommunications, in a way that doesn’t simply see the money going to wealthy campaign donors and politically-connected companies, while the fiber is run to unused buildings, as has happened here before.

Maintained roads

Roads in WV are in such poor condition that whole counties have declared states of emergency because they’re that unsafe. The main problem is that the large trucks doing the damage are not paying for their share of the maintenance—and taxes keep getting shifted onto working people who are already struggling.
It doesn’t have to be this way. With legislation like the RECLAIM Act, we can invest federal dollars to rebuild our communitie, so working people thrive more than ever before. Our roadways are our lifeline to hospitals, food, and work. In the richest country in the world, no community should have to face a state of emergency over unsafe roads.
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Addiction Epidemic

One of the most tragic developments in West Virginia has been the devastating effects of opioid addiction. For Paula Jean who has had friends and family caught in the cycle of addiction, she knows just how painful this disease is for everyone affected.

Long-term recovery solutions

It has been proven that community-based, long-term recovery solutions are effective in treating addiction. These programs work to create individualized treatment plans and networks of support systems – a key factor in success. We need to stop treating people with addiction like criminals and start treating this illness. 

Address contributing factors

Addiction is a disease of despair. Many folks who struggle with addiction are dealing with other issues: poverty, homelessness, physical or mental illness, and more. In order to combat this disease, we must also work to prevent it. That means increasing opportunities for new jobs, ensuring everyone has healthcare, and supporting our most vulnerable populations.

Hold Big Pharma accountable

We firmly believes that we must hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in creating this national crisis. That includes federal legislation that pushes pharmaceutical companies to front a chunk of the bill in helping individuals acquire treatment and recovery. 
When it comes to combatting the addiction crisis, one of the biggest factors in the way is special interests. We deserve politicians that don’t open their pockets and pocketbooks to accept corporate cash from industries that exploit our people.
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Economic Diversity

West Virginia can no longer sustain a monolithic economy built on one industry. We must expand opportunities for growth and development. Our workers and their families should never have to move out of the state to find good-paying and stable employment.

New infrastructure for new industry

It’s time to invest in ourselves and we can do this by upgrading and modernizing our crumbling infrastructure. We must make our state more appealing to industry nationwide while also investing in home-grown industry and business.
Technology is changing modern economic development every day. To seed industry we must make federal and statewide investments in broadband, telecommunications and internet to help bring access to every corner of our state.

Ensure just transition

The very serious question that faces West Virginia today is: What are we going to do when the coal is gone? No politician, and no industry leader has been able to give us a clear answer. Right now, there is no Plan B.  Paula Jean understands that we must  transition from coal. Paula Jean will fight to bring innovative solutions to these age-old problems.
We can learn from successes we see in other states. In Ohio, they’ve grown a clean energy market that’s helped create tens of thousands of jobs. Kentucky has fostered a burgeoning hemp and marijuana industry, both of which will result in massive revenue for the state and job opportunities for its citizens.

Support workers

Supporting industry also means supporting workers. That’s why we support federal protections for Unions and demand a living wage for all individuals working across the country. We all deserve good-paying jobs, that’s why our campaign supports a federal jobs guarantee, worker rights expansion and ending stifling right to work legislation.

Legalize cannabis

Hemp and cannabis can once again be a cash crop for West Virginia but in order to see real success we must both legalize cannabis on a federal level and legalize production within our state.
West Virginia could see significant revenue from this industry – and quickly. We need to invest in this industry now, so our state will be able to lead the charge in production – not get left behind again.
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