CCSJ Annual Report
To download and view the 2019-19 CCSJ Annual Report please click here.
ACLU OF West Virginia T-shirt
You can support the ACLU’s work for immigrant rights by buying a red or blue t-shirt
that features the New River Gorge Bridge and the message of “Build Bridges Not Walls.”
The shirts are $25 each and can be ordered at this webpage.
ACLU OF West Virginia Announces Plans for 2020 Legislative Session
On December 26th, the ACLU issued this press release on its web site:
“As we approach the second session of the 84th West Virginia Legislature, we at the
American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia (ACLU-WV) are preparing again to
protect constitutional liberties. The First Amendment, as well as rights to equal
protections under the law, due process, and privacy are all at stake.
“We will support policies that protect civil liberties of all West Virginians, particularly
the most vulnerable, and we will oppose those that deny the promise of the Bill of Rights
“One of our top priorities will be bail reform. We’ll seek legislation that balances public
safety with people’s basic freedoms, meaning their ability to live and work and to not be
confined to a cell without being found guilty of a crime. We’ll work to end cash bail, a
system that enables those with financial means to escape pretrial imprisonment while
keeping the poor locked up. This system costs the state enormous amounts of money and
disrupts the lives of those who are accused – but not yet convicted – of a crime.
“We’ll demand more transparency in policing and support the creation of a statewide
cooperative review board. These boards allow the public to hold officers accountable
for actions taken while on duty. We will also continue our efforts on civil asset
forfeiture, encouraging the creation of a database of all goods and money that the
government seizes from people accused of crimes.
“Juvenile justice reform is another top concern. We’ll back legislation that promotes a
safe and harassment-free school environment, one that prioritizes comprehensive mental
and behavioral health services for our students over treating them like criminals.
“We’ll promote democracy with legislation for ranked-choice elections for the state
judiciary, allowing a true representation of West Virginians’ choices to be reflected in
election outcomes. This system allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference.
If a candidate receives more than half of the first-choice votes, that candidate wins. If
no one receives a majority of first-choice votes, the candidate with the fewest first
choices is eliminated. The voters who ranked the eliminated candidate first then have
their second-choice votes distributed to other candidates. This continues until a
candidate has a majority of the active votes.
“We’ll also defend democracy by expanding an amendment to the state Constitution to
allow dual employment of most state employees -- who are typically civic-minded and
knowledgeable -- so that they may serve in the Legislature. Currently, no state employees
are permitted to serve in the Legislature.
“As part of our support for marginalized communities who lack protections, we will
advocate for passage of the WV Fairness Act, which would add sexual orientation and
gender identity to the state’s Human Rights Act.
“We’re also ready to fight back against the latest attack on bodily autonomy -- a
rumored “born-alive bill.” This legislation falsely portrays the reality of abortion
services and invites government intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship.
“Finally, to help you make sense of it all, we’ll track legislation and keep an updated list
on our website. At the end of the session we will create a scorecard on legislation that
received a floor vote and on which we took a public position.
“We’re ready to make real, positive change in West Virginia, and we hope you’ll join us in
You can get email alerts about these issues by signing up here.
The ACLU is also responding to the recent incident at the Division of Corrections and
Rehabilitation basic training class, where trainees were photographed giving the Nazi
salute. The organization announced on December 30th that “During the upcoming session,
we will advocate for a Holocaust education requirement in West Virginia middle and high
schools. We cannot let the session end without making certain that all of our students
know about the horrors of the Holocaust and other genocides.” To follow developments on
this issue, please go here.
Fairness West Virginia Announces Online Fairness Act Advocacy
With the legislative session starting now, Fairness is offering two online training
“We're gearing up for a tough legislative fight. If we want to finally pass a statewide
law in 2020 that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender
identity, we need your help. We need a engaged group of advocates across the state
willing to step up and join the fight.
“Please join us for one of our two online advocacy trainings in January. All you need to
join us is a computer and desire to make West Virginia a better place for LGBTQ people
to live. We'll learn about the time-tested messaging you can use to persuade family and
friends, equip you with the answers to difficult questions you might face and expand the
advocacy tools you have to make your voice heard at the capitol.
“As the training gets closer, you will be sent a link to the online training in your email.”
Sign up for one of the trainings – January 7 at 6:00 p.m. or January 18 at 1:00 p.m. at
Fairness also has a list of Faith Leaders for Fairness available here that includes people
from around the state who support passing the Fairness Act to protect to include LGBT
people. Morgantown faith leaders who have signed as of December 31, 2019, are Rev.
Wes Bergen (Church of the Brethren, a CCSJ member organization), Rabbi Joseph
Hample (Tree of Life Synagogue), M. Div. Amanda Kathryn Hill (WVU Medical Center),
Rev. Matthew Johnson (Suncrest United Methodist Church), Rev. John Elliott Lein (St.
Thomas à Becket Episcopal Church), Rev. Emily Misfeldt (Ruby Memorial Hospital), Rev.
Zachary Morton (First Presbyterian Church), Rev. Stephen Prince (Mountaineer Charge,
United Methodist Church) Moira Reilly (WVU Medicine Children’s chaplain), Pastor Bob
Roberts (First Christian Church), Rev. Shawn Weaver (Cheat Lake United Methodist
Church), and Rev. Jennifer C. Williams (United Methodist Church). Others can sign up
from the website so please spread the word.
Fairness West Virginia Announces Human Rights Commission Municipal
Fairness announced these scores, which are based on municipal law, on November 19th.
Huntington scored a perfect 100, the first time a West Virginia city has achieved this
score, while Charleston scored 91. In addition to those two cities, there are scores for
Charles Town (45), Lewisburg (43), Morgantown (75), Parkersburg (13), and Wheeling
Morgantown received a score of 30 out of 30 for non-discrimination laws and 8 of 8 for
leadership on LGBTQ equality. We scored 14 of 28 on “municipality as employer,” 7 of
12 on “municipal services,” and 12 of 22 on “law enforcement.” Details of the Morgantown
score are available here. The full index for the country is available here.