October 1, 2021
West Virginians have been trying for months to get their Democratic senator, Senator Manchin, to stop standing with Republicans to block the Build Back Better Act. Build Back Better would deliver expanded Medicare eligibility and services, childcare subsidies, universal pre-K, a Child Tax Credit extension, thousands of union jobs in WV alone, and much more. But he's been in DC telling colleagues that West Virginians don't support the bill. In truth, the bill would stop federal subsidies to the fossil fuel industry from which he amasses much of his extreme wealth.
So, in my capacity as Senior Legislative Organizer for the Center for Popular Democracy/CPD Action, I invited a bunch of West Virginians to come to DC, where Manchin lives on a yacht during the week. And, I stocked up on kayaks.
We kayaked to his yacht four days in a row, and on the fourth day, as I led a call-and-response chant from the water, he finally came out. You can watch the moment here:
The moment landed them the meeting - in his office - that they'd long demanded, but more importantly, it made national news and exposed Manchin's lies about where West Virginians stand on the bill.