W.Va. Can’t Wait movement leaders discuss next step

WV Can’t Wait leaders and members of the Huntington community met on Saturday to discuss the movement’s post election plans.

 Stephen Smith and Katey Lauer, the leaders of WV Can’t Wait, have been hosting multiple strategy meetings throughout the state since the election, and Cabell County Can’t Wait captains added smores and some fun to their strategy meeting that took place last Saturday. 

The meeting consisted of creating a SWOT plan, choosing the best strategy plans and setting personal goals.

WV Can’t Wait had 11 candidates who signed their pledge to wwin their election. Smith and Lauer stressed the importance of not only building a new plan on how to help the candidates during their time in office, but to also help decide where to focus the movement’s resources and money.  “If we need to raise money, we have to go back to our people. We don’t have a big pot of money to pull from,” Smith said. 

The meeting was focused on ideas given directly from the people of West Virginia.  

“Part of what we’re interested in is winning a people’s government in West Virginia,” Lauer said. “This means the struggle we’re in is beyond one election cycle, but we’re looking at running people in multiple election cycles and building a movement over the long run, and so the foundation of that movement is those who have been involved over the last two years. And part of what’s exciting is seeing all the new people that have come too.” 

Smith and Lauer also presented a strategy survey that is available virtually for those who cannot make it to the strategy meetings. 

According to Smith, the movement has already  completed over 400 one-on-one conversations with voters to discuss a plan for a new deal to come out Dec. 5.

Smith said, “The idea, as we’ve said before, is that on Dec. 5, a group of representatives inside the movement, including people who represent candidates who won, candidates who didn’t win, county captains, movement captains and members of the action committee are going to come together on the 5 to ratify a two-year strategy plans for our movement.”   

Huntington residents, WV Can’t Wait captains and leaders and current or previous candidates attended the meeting hoping to find some stress relief and resolutions within the movement. 

Hilary Turner, previous democratic candidate for District 3, mentioned some concerns that she noticed during her run for office. 

“We found that a lot of people we talked to were not registered to vote. To me, it was frustrating and a weakness. Turner said she would like to hlep people get registered to vote and would like to see people recieve training on how to canvas. She said she is focused on improving what the movement has already accomplished.  She plans to continue to help those candidates who won at 

strategy consists of taking a break from politics for a while and watching Netflix with her dog. 

While strategizing, Cabell County Can’t Wait captains offered smores and sandwich sliders for everyone at the meeting. Everything was individually wrapped, and sanitizer was set out by all areas where there were food and drinks, and everyone wore their masks and followed CDC guidelines.  

David Yosuico, a senior at Stanford, and Huntington resident, is new to the WV Can’t Wait team and decided to spend a couple hours of his Saturday focusing on the plans for 2021. 

“I was super inspired and hopeful when I discovered WV Can’t Wait because pretty much everything the movement supports, I support, and it surprises me that it reaches and is liked by such a large group of West Virginians.” 

Yosuico is originally from Charleston but his family is from the Philippines. His mother, who was also present, said she worries about the state of our government, and it reminds her of the country she left, which at the time was run under President Ferdinand Marcos. 

“I think the Philippines legacy of corruption is fairly complicated because it also intermixes with colonization by both Spain and the United States. And like it crippled the political structure and form opinions like my mothers and others in the county and that power consolidated people. It’s like hard to say what can be prevented, but I’ll continue to try to keep my voice heard and represented the best I can for me and my family.” 

Lauer and Smith tell people to keep an eye out for the new deal which will be released in December. 

Sequoia Ware can be contacted at [email protected]