Well, there are a LOT of Mountain Mamas in the world. But, here, a Mountain Mama is a “forward-thinking” woman running for the West Virginia Legislature. That woman speaks for herself & runs her own campaign, but she knows that a better West Virginia is possible and we must keep moving ahead.
Mountain Mamas first came together as a support group of 2018 candidates, and a Political Action Committee was formed through the WV Secretary of State’s office so that we could be transparent about any money we raised and spent on electoral politics. While people were enthusiastic about the smiling faces on the social media posts & the few materials we created, we all agreed that the best aspect was getting to know each other, help each other, and support each other. There were eight Mountain Mamas in the 2019-2020 Legislature, and the fact they could greet each other with hugs and a large degree of familiarity was a clear plus. Our eight Mountain Mama delegates changed the face and the voice of the West Virginia Legislature. They make a difference, and seven of them are back on the 2020 ballot. (Linda Longstreth is running for Marion County Commissioner.)
Again, we don’t agree on everything – and it is as much HOW we do things as what legislation we do or don’t support. It doesn’t mean we are going to vote the same or have the same priorities. It does mean we listen to each other with respect and attempt to find a consensus. We like the word “empathy” — and “candor.”
That means pay equity, menstrual equity, hair non-discrimination, equal opportunity. We seem to fundamentally agree on what legislation supports women. If you think wanting to work with other women is sexist, you’re not a Mountain Mama. Our fight for women’s rights extends to many other areas. When existing rights are being trampled upon – or marginalized communities or persons subjected to discrimination need their rights expanded or protected – we will be there. We think health care is a right.
Mountain Mamas want to help women, children and families. We prefer that most of our money comes from individuals. Most have pledged not to accept corporate PAC money. All of us are cognizant of the source of the funds and consider the ramifications of accepting contributions from individuals who have significant ties to corporations or special interests or who are paid lobbyists, especially from specific industries or interests. However, just as each Mountain Mama speaks for herself, each Mountain Mama makes her own decision, although she may get challenged at times. We work with WV Citizens for Clean Elections for election reform, voting rights and other measures that increase participation and decrease corruption in our democracy. We do not join ALEC and are suspect of “model legislation” that comes from groups like that.
Of course, ALL politicians say they will bring jobs, hope, broadband, better roads, better education, more bang for your buck, blah blah blah. Yeah, we’re for all that, too. But we want to be practical, visionary, daring, efficient, and open-minded about how to get all that. We also know that West Virginia is a perfect place to grow cannabis and dream of all the things we could do if it were legal to grow it here.
We are proud to be Mountain Mamas. It makes running easier and more fun, but it still is not easy (especially in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis). We know there are a lot more Mountain Mamas out there who can help WV change our story. We want to increase the visibility and viability of forward-thinking women candidates running for the WV Legislature. We want to move mountains.
Amy Goodwin, Charleston WV 1st Female Mayor Honorary Mountain Mama
Each MtnMama is running her own campaign – and decides for herself where she goes, who she is photographed with, what she says. Pictures of a MtnMama with another candidate or at a particular event does NOT imply an endorsement by MtnMamasPAC, other MtnMamas, or even THAT Mtn Mama in the picture. Similarly, there are lots of people wearing MtnMama t-shirts. The views expressed are those of the wearer.
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