BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The West Virginia People’s Party is the newest political party looking to make a difference in the Mountain State. It is a division of a national party that’s building a base around the nation. Their national platform focuses on supporting free tuition for public institutions, a 15-dollar minimum wage, modern infrastructure, and medicare for all.
“We need real people servants, we also need healthcare for everyone, we need housing rights, we need food, we need clean water,” said Paula-Jean Swearengin, Regional Director for the West Virginia People’s Party.
Swearengin left the West Virginia Democratic Party because she felt the party was no longer helping people in the Mountain State. She said she hopes the People’s Party works to serve people in this state and give them what she calls ‘true representation.’
“People are suffering in our state and neither party is doing anything except dividing us and not bringing us together,” said Swearengin.
In order to obtain ballot access and be recognized by the state, the party has a lot of work to do. They held their launch meeting last Thursday and have a few years to get a candidate
“We have to have a gubernatorial candidate, we have to have so many signatures to get the party registered in West Virginia, and I’m hoping in 2024 we see get that done and a lot of states have ballot access at that point,” said Swearengin.
Organizing a new political party is not easy, and those obstacles are exactly what the People’s Party is trying to challenge.
“I believe that the barriers that are put up are a testament to exactly why we need to challenge the system as it is because we need a more reflective government,” said Zeynab Day, Executive Director of the People’s Party.
While organizing here in West Virginia, the national party is also looking to build a national committee and start making an impact in federal politics.
“We are building up to a national convention, the national committee will be fully elected and have representatives from every single state,” said Day.
For the Mountain State, the People’s Party says they hope to build a movement people in which people can believe.
“It’s time, it’s past time to have a party people believe in here in West Virginia,” said Swearengin.
More information about the national party can be found on their website.