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New Activists on the Block

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A Primer on Local Support for Inclusivity

This week we’re discussing non-discrimination ordinances, or NDOs. These laws prohibit discrimination in things like employment and housing based on sexual orientation and/or sexual identity, but we have a regular patchwork quilt of these policies in the US. No federal law. In West Virginia, the cities of Buckhannon, Charles Town, Charleston, Huntington, Lweisburg, Martinsburg, and Wheeling have such ordinances, along with the towns of Athens, Harpers Ferry, Shepardstown, Sutton, and...

Duration: 01:00:03

The Assault Continues...and so does the Crazy...

This week we discuss the federal (and state) budget and the fact that the attack is on against average non-millionaire people in this country. In their ongoing fight to give more money to the wealthiest among us, the GOP tried to take our medicine, now they are going after our food.

Duration: 00:51:18

Recap of the Dramatic Thumbs Down

Quick extra pod for you this week because -- NO ACA REPEAL! McCain cast the deciding vote last night at 1:30am. His dramatic thumbs down has finally broken the back of the ACA repeal. We recognize this is just one step. Efforts at repeal will be back. But the New Activists reflect, celebrate, and ask for your help!

Duration: 00:20:06

Nevertheless we persist: Women Unite!

This week we had the pleasure of meeting with two seasoned organizers, Alissa Clements and Emily Thompson from Planned Parenthood. We talked about what it means to be a woman fighting for folks in West Virginia and what it means to be a woman leader in our world today.

Duration: 01:00:38

Rusty Williams: Game Changer

Sometimes you meet people that will probably change the world. Only a couple of weeks ago, I had the immense pleasure of meeting Rusty Williams. He also is a world changer. The New Activists were invited to speak at the Bernie Sanders health care rally in Charleston, WV about four weeks ago. Rusty is a patient advocate and helped usher in medical cannabis in WV. Join us as we discuss the latest Senate health care bill, West Virginia, and activism.

Duration: 01:01:25

Double Dose: More Bernie and Stephen Smith

This week, we were planning on just sharing the second half of the interview with Stephen Smith. And we still are. But a little thing happened last week. Senator Bernie Sanders. In Morgantown, West Virginia. Micah got to drive him from the airport. Yes, our Micah! As you may recall, Senator Capito is now one of about a dozen senators who have come out firmly against the BRCA. As of yesterday afternoon, Politico and the Hill were reporting the following from Senator Capito: “I only see the...

Duration: 00:27:28

A Health Care Rally, Bernie, and Stephen Smith

Phew. What a week. Health care rally. With Bernie Sanders. Mean and horrible health care bill CBO estimate. Lots of horse trading to get that crapstorm passed. And tired activists trying to make sure it doesn’t. So we’ll dive in with a discussion of our recent activism, a new segment we’re calling Mr. Micah where we debate Micah about health care. And an interview with the wonderful Stephen Smith of Our Children Our Future.

Duration: 00:54:38

The echo and the activism

Phew. What a week. In West Virginia, we finally passed a budget, just in the nick of time. Then of course there’s the "health care" bill that the Senate Republicans proposed. It’s all bad. And we talked about it today. But. I forgot to wear my headset… And there was an echo… So. We won’t make you listen to that. Sorry, folks. Good news is we called Senator Capito’s office again and I put the headphones on. So, today, we really focus on our action, what it means to be active, and an...

Duration: 00:13:06

Are you there Capito? It's us the New Activists on the Block

Join the New Activists for lots of laughs and some deep sighs about the current state of politics and the impact on West Virginia. We end our podcast this week with a call to both Senator Capito's offices "live" on the air and unedited.

Duration: 00:39:53


WV Senator Shelley Moore Capito might be the most important lawmaker in the country right now. If she and other “centrists” vote for the Senate AHCA plan (and they might!), 24 million of us – mostly children and working families – will lose medicine and doctors visits. Hundreds of thousands will lose drug treatment. Hospitals will close. Pre-existing conditions will explode costs. But if Senator Capito stands up for us, she can halt this plan and save our families. So take a listen as we...

Duration: 00:11:13

What is DeVos doing?? And other education policy in WV and America.

What is DeVos doing?? And other education policy in WV and America. by New Activists on the Block

Duration: 00:55:23

Being from WV and in Search of a WV State Budget

This week, we discuss what it means to be from West Virginia. Or being from here but not born here... There's a difference. We also talk with Ted Boettner from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy about the West Virginia Budget. It's a long, convoluted, and so far unproductive process. But too important for our children, our state infrastructure, and future generations to ignore.

Duration: 00:56:32

Burnout and the AHCA

What is it like to be an activist 4 months into the Trump presidency? How are we coping? What are our tools? Megan, Sara, and Micah discuss how they are coping. And they laugh. Especially Megan. The team also interviews Dr. Simon Haeder, health care expert from West Virginia University. What does the AHCA do? How will it harm West Virginians? What does the CBO score mean?

Duration: 01:11:15

Bernie Clintonville

This week, Micah Weglinski and I are joined by Shane Assadzandi, a former Bernie organizer and awesome guy I’m proud to call my friend. Megan Smith is out this week at a conference and to visit with family (for a refresher why this is important, go back to our episode on Balance).

Duration: 00:51:17

We Need Women in West Virginia Politics!

A shockingly small proportion of women in our country are elected to public office. To me, that is a problem. One that we address with today's podcast featuring two special guests: two city councilors recently elected in Morgantown, WV. After you're done listening -- I have a challenge to us all. Let’s envision a country where upwards of 50% of our elected representatives were women. What would that mean for our laws, for our institutions, for our children?

Duration: 00:52:17

How Progressives Won in West Virginia: Interview with a Candidate

I can honestly say that I cannot recall ever voting in a local election. Or at least caring that I was voting for local candidates as I was voting. I’ve voted in every presidential election since I could (Bush-Gore — what an eventful first vote!). But my attitudes toward civic engagement and activism changed on November 9, 2016. I woke up devastated but ready to fight. Lots of us felt like this. And some even decided to run for public office. So this week hear from a newly elected city...

Duration: 00:49:21

We met with our Senators

Drumroll please. Because this week, we spoke to our two senators. On the same day. Seriously.

Duration: 00:27:31


Sorry we posted our third episode a few days late, but the reason is actually the theme of this week’s show. Balance. As you know, Megan, Micah and I are new to activism. We used to do normal stuff in our free time – hang with family, cook, exercise, watch TV, and talk with our spouses. We still do those things. But a lot of what used to be spare time is now filled with meetings, conference calls, emails… Podcasts. We’re busy. And how we do it isn’t unique nor is it perfect. But examples...

Duration: 00:32:14


This week, Megan, Micah, and Sara discuss their experiences living in the heart of Trump country -- West Virginia. And the broader theme of this week’s episode is persistence. We all exhibit persistence. We do again and again. We go back. We are patient. In an uncertain political era, persistence may be more important than ever.

Duration: 00:43:45