Coal Communities Workgroup meets in Beckley to discuss revitalization

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Members of the West Virginia Coal Communities Workgroup made a stop in Beckley to listen to residents about the revitalization of coal communities.

The workgroup consists of many West Virginia lawmakers who are traveling around the state to hear ideas from residents. They say they understand West Virginia’s coal towns have been on the decline for decades, and want to turn things around by hearing from the community.

Mark Dean, a delegate representing Mingo County, as well as parts of Wyoming and McDowell counties, says it’s also a good way to draft legislation, by hearing directly from the people it will affect.

“For too long and far too often, we’ve had politicians that make policy for us,” Dean said. “We want to do the exact opposite of that. We wanted to come out, hear what people had to say, and then derive policy from that.”

The group’s goal is to figure out what coal communities need right now, as well as what resources may already be available. They plan to stop at more communities in the future.

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