I couldn’t be happier to join the People’s Party as national Candidate Engagement Director and West Virginia State Director. During my two election cycles as a U.S. Senate candidate and my more than 20 years of organizing, I’ve seen the two-party establishment push back against any kind of change that helps communities like mine in Appalachia and across the country.
I’m an ordinary coal miner’s daughter and granddaughter. I’m a single mother. A grandmother. I know what it’s like to work minimum-wage jobs and organize as a volunteer just trying to fight for a better life. Appalachia has a deep history of organizers that shed blood for labor rights. From the battle on Blair Mountain to Bloody Harlan County, Appalachians helped build the roots of the labor movement and the fight continues to this day. We shouldn’t have to spend generations fighting for basic human rights. I carry this legacy with me.
I’m sick and tired of polished politicians and band-aid solutions. Two-party systems are gatekeepers who work for the corporations and don’t let the rest of us into their so-called “big tent.” If we don’t fight together to build a major new party that works for all of us, we’ll continue to suffer together. Contribute $5 today and help us build a Party that will stand for us and with us.
I ran to challenge Sen. Joe Manchin in 2018, and went to the general to challenge Sen. Shelley Moore-Capito in 2020. I ran because people in West Virginia and all over the country shouldn’t have to beg for a clean glass of water, healthcare, good paying jobs and to keep a roof over their head. I was hoping to run, raise hell and help change the system. But, I see even clearer that the system is designed to profit off our demise.
That’s why I’ve joined ya’ll to help build a People’s Party. One that doesn’t take corporate money, will NEVER support corporate candidates and will not sell off our principles and promises to the highest bidder.
The Democrat party didn’t just refuse to support our campaigns, they actively worked against us. Now, the same party that worked so hard to keep Sen. Joe Manchin in his seat in 2018 is using him as a scapegoat for legislation they had no intention of passing in the first place.
Even though I was the U.S. Senate Democratic Candidate in West Virginia, in 2020 the Party refused to support a debate between myself and Republican Sen. Shelley Moore-Capito. They’d rather ignore a non-corporate candidate that would take them to task than give the voters a real choice.
Most recently the West Virginia Democrat Party had a public racist implosion within their Democrat Executive Committee meeting. Despite a public outcry, we heard crickets from Sen. Joe Manchin and the Democrat Party National leaders, even after the public demanded the Chair of the West Virginia State Party to step down. I’ve been thinking about leaving the Democrat Party for a long time. The fact that the party once again was willing to ignore their members AND actively suppressed people of color asking for a voice, was the icing on the cake for me.
It’s time for real systemic change in this country. It’s time for us to support a real People’s Party that is truly dedicated to accountability and to immediately passing legislation that will help communities like mine. Can you pitch in $5 today and help us continue to build across every state in the country?
I look forward to helping vet and mentor candidates that are ordinary people like myself. And help advise on systems that actually build real support for candidates and their teams.
We are working to put the power back in the hands of the people. I’m joining a Party that does better than making promises on the campaign trail only to pass bread-crumb legislation when they make it to office.
To quote one of my inspirations, Union and Labor organizer Mother Jones, “My address is like my shoes. It travels with me. I abide where there’s a fight against wrong.”
Paula Jean Swearengin
Candidate Engagement Director
P.S. Watch Jimmy Dore live at 7 pm ET tonight for more about why I’m joining a People’s Party and to hear about how we’re working to get regular-working people like myself elected.