"I ran for my seat in the People's House because I wanted to make a difference in people's lives, and I'm running to keep my seat because I want to keep making a difference. I began as an activist for kindness & justice, and now I am an activist legislator, speaking for the voiceless, fighting for the vulnerable, and fighting to make our government serve the needs of the people of West Virginia. Policy matters, and I am fighting for good policies and good laws in West Virginia."
- Delegate Danielle Walker
The 2020 legislative session begins in just three short months, and Danielle wants to know what YOUR most important priorities are, so she can help make sure those issues get the attention they deserve. Please take Dani's 2020 Legislative Priorities Survey here!
A Fair Economy
This is the richest time in West Virginia history, but most of our neighbors aren’t seeing it. Our state is serving and protecting the top 1% instead of supporting working families. We deserve better.
We must protect our unions who protect our workers. West Virginia must restore prevailing wage protections, repeal the “right to work for less” law, and support working people across our state. Our minimum wage hasn’t been raised in years; yet, the cost of healthcare and prescriptions are on the rise, cost of maintenance on vehicles are at a rise due to our battered roads, and the cost of daily living needs are still on the riseIt’s unacceptable that many people are working more than full time at minimum wage jobs and still struggling to feed their families. Working people deserve the dignity of a living wages with reasonable benefits. An important early step in treating working West Virginians with respect is to raise state job wages to a living wage with good benefits across the board.
West Virginians need GOOD jobs, not just poverty wage jobs that keep them dependent on anti-poverty benefits and unable to independently take care of their families.
My sons. Your daughter. Our neighbors. Mountain Mama. Country Roads Take Me Home to a Place Where ALL Belong.
Our community and state is only as strong as the least supported among us. As Mountaineers, we are bred out of hard work and loving our neighbors. In the past years, we have consistently and urgently had to fight for the rights of those who may be different than us. Whether it is disabilty, sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or economic status, I walk alongside you to fight for the protections all Mountaineers deserve.
Mountaineers are always free. I will not stand down until each and every West Virginian has the same rights and fair treatment because we can only become #BestVirginia when we are all at the table.
If Mountaineers are truly free, they must be free from worry about where their next meal is coming from. Tackling stigmas around food insecurity is a must. Too many people have to choose between paying the bills and putting food on the table. How can we expect students to succeed when our kids are worried about whether they will have dinner that night? Our seniors have earned the right to live in dignity. It is our duty to make sure they don’t have to choose between groceries and paying for their insulin. I will fight to make sure that hunger is no longer a reality for thousands of our neighbors.
Education: Our Students First
“Our Students First” means investing in quality, public education for all of our kids. “Our Students First” means investing in our educators and school service personnel and paying them what they’re worth. “Our Students First” means knocking down barriers so teachers can teach and students can learn. “Our Students First” means ensuring that students with special needs are included and are not left behind. “Our Students First” means making college and trade school affordable. “Our Students First” means that regardless of your zip code or income, you have every opportunity to succeed. “Our Students First” means putting the needs of our students ahead of corporate profits and political games.
Two jobs. Single mother. Rent or food? Co-pays? Vehicle broke down. $500 medication cost. Termination notice. Eviction. Can't catch up. Where do you turn? Who do you turn to?
West Virginians are not free when we have thousands across our state who cannot maintain housing because they cannot afford it. Secure, affordable housing is the foundation for families to achieve stability - a home is a safe place for kids to grow and families to thrive.
I know what it’s like to struggle to provide a safe home for my family, because I lived it. As a single mother, who works three jobs, our family lived in public housing and substandard housing for years before becoming a homeowner through Habitat for Humanity here in Monongalia County. I believe so strongly in the power of Habitat for Humanity that I now work as a family advocate to mentor other families as they become homeowners as well. I am committed to helping others achieve safe, affordable housing whether through ownership or through better rental options.
West Virginia is in dire need of affordable housing to ensure that our neighbors are not having to choose between the heating bill or paying for their insulin. We must do better. Our neighbors deserve the dignity of a safe home, and I will fight to secure safe, affordable housing for all Mountaineers.
Criminal Justice Reform
Country roads take me home, to a place where we are not prison-prone. West Virginia should be investing in our people, not our prisons. To do this, we need serious reform to our criminal justice system.
People suffering from mental health issues or addiction need treatment, not prison. People shouldn’t languish in jail because they are too poor to afford their cash bail or to pay for the high cost of home confinement -- which is only available to those who can afford it. Imprisonment should be reserved for dangerous criminals, not our poor or our sick.
West Virginia can and must drastically reduce the number of our neighbors who are imprisoned and ensure that our justice system treats every citizen, no matter the color of their skin or the balance in their bank account, fairly.
Mountaineers are always free, and our adults should be free to grow their own medicine and make their own choices. I support legalization of medical marijuana and adult use recreational cannabis. We must also clear the criminal records of those previously convicted of (newly legal) marijuana related offenses. These simple steps will ease the suffering of those with medical conditions treatable by marijuana, reduce opiate use, addiction and overdose deaths, save the state millions of taxpayer dollars in criminal justice expenses. Taxing adult use cannabis will also provide a huge revenue stream to invest in healing our addiction crisis and investing in our state’s future.
“Sue”, 46 years old, presents to a local emergency room after having used opioids for the last five years. Sue initially started using after being prescribed 90 days worth of Oxycontin (with several refills) for car accident related injuries. Sue became dependent on this drug which ultimately led to her use of heroin. When Sue arrived at the ER seeking substance abuse treatment, she was told that there were no beds and to contact a local service provider in two weeks when a bed might be available. Two days later, Sue died from an accidental overdose. She was survived by her 16 year old daughter and her husband of 22 years. This never had to happen.
Sue could be your sister, mother, neighbor, or friend. Every new day offers the opportunity for sobriety. But, without access to treatment, we fail to deliver on this promise. West Virginia needs high quality, evidence-based substance abuse treatment options available to every person seeking sobriety. As West Virginians, we take care of each other, unless your experiencing addiction? I will work alongside those experiencing addiction and recovery to help pass legislation that helps improve access to treatment and recovery services across the mountain state.