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Help us bring 40 Appalachians to D.C.

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

We know you haven’t heard from us in a while, but the Alliance for Appalachia’s efforts to support the health of mountain communities have continued behind the scenes. And now we your help to bring our message to Congress once more. Can you help us raise the funds by Sept. 15 to bring 40 representatives from our member organizations to Washington, D.C., this fall to tell their stories about mountaintop removal impacts, black lung, and the region’s efforts to create a sustainable economy?

Donate now

When Todd Waterman (pictured below right) came to Washington, D.C. with the Alliance for Appalachia two years ago, he probably didn’t know he would soon become a longstanding, go-to advocate for legislation in his state, and DJ Coker didn’t know he would soon join our Coordinating Committee and convene the Alliance’s regional Citizen’s Enforcement Team. What they did know was that they had a story to tell, that their communities matter, and that members of Congress have a duty to hear them out. Todd is pictured with (l-r):  Representative Diane Black’s aide, Vickie Terry, DJ Coker, Caitlin Myers and Adam Hughes.

By bringing local leaders to share their stories and advocate for community-led change, we’re demonstrating the reason this Alliance was established– to amplify local work with a regional voice while building leadership and capacity to implement a just transition. 

Your support will help us:

  • Build leadership and capacity among residents of Appalachia and members of the Alliance by providing scholarships and training so that they may meaningfully engage with elected representatives.

  • Meet with members of Congress to educate them on the health impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining in our communities and advocate support for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. For decades, coal companies have pushed their costs onto people living near their operations and bailed on promises to provide healthcare to coal miners struggling with black lung. The rate of coal miners lung disease has doubled in less than a decade, creating an industrial epidemic across Appalachia. As we work for a just transition, we must stand up for our neighbors and hold the coal industry accountable to their debts and devastation.  

  • Urge members of Congress to invest in our region by passing the RECLAIM Act (HR 1731). This unique, bipartisan proposal would release $1 billion of existing funds to clean up toxic pollution on abandoned mine sites and promote community-led development. We see reclamation as a key component to achieving clean water, while also providing an opportunity to boost development and job creation.

  • Take action alongside allies in D.C. to reclaim the narratives and visions of people living in Appalachia by providing space for our members to tell their stories and experiences with confidence.


Grassroots support in 2016 made all the difference when we brought nearly 40 community leaders to DC. Together, we met with more than 35 congressional representatives and 8 federal agencies that have key roles in protecting our communities from environmental injustice, including 2 meetings at the White House with executive administration offices. The total cost of this upcoming trip is estimated to be over $27,000. 

“If I’d learned one thing as an activist, it’s that saying ‘yes’ to something I’ve never done before can be a tremendously empowering experience . . . If I had a lot to learn, that meant I’d learn a lot.” – John Todd Waterman, TN climate activist and member of Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment. Read all about his 2016 experience in the full article.

Help us build leadership and capacity and provide a platform for grassroots leaders to speak truth to power in Washington, D.C. Join our efforts by contributing $10, $50, $100 or more by September 15!

Donate now

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Appalachian Voices  •  Coal River Mountain Watch  •   Heartwood  •  Keeper of the MountainsKentuckians for the Commonwealth 

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition  •   Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowermentSierra Club Environmental Justice

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards  •   SouthWings  •  Stay Project  •   West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

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