Welcome CCJ New Team Members, to Launch First-Ever Civic Engagement Program

Posted Aug 5, 2020, by Veronica Coptis

Clockwise: Phoenix White, Prem Rajgopal, Jeromy Mackey, Paul Fedore, Mark Dugan

Clockwise: Phoenix White, Prem Rajgopal, Jeromy Mackey, Paul Fedore, Mark Dugan

The Center for Coalfield Justice is launching our first-ever voter education and civic engagement program, which will begin to lay the infrastructure to increase engagement in voting and in protecting our democracy. This program is rooted in education and leadership development. We are excited to welcome new team members who will help to implement this program and help you to get engaged in defending our democracy in the 2020 election.

Through this program, we will be deeply engaging with residents of Washington and Greene Counties on climate, environmental, and economic justice and how these issues show up in the election. We will be asking candidates that are seeking political seats where they stand on environmental and economic justice, ensuring that in southwestern Pennsylvania, they can no longer skirt around these issues but must provide voters clear positions on issues that impact their lives. 

This is the beginning of our efforts to increase our volunteer base and to work collectively and collaboratively for the long term to improve our communities so everyone can thrive. We know that one election cycle will not correct or eliminate all the negative impacts we face in Washington and Greene Counties, but we know it is critical for all of us to exercise our democratic right to vote. We will also work to provide people with access to information about candidates, so that voters can have access to helpful information that goes beyond simple political party advertisements, helping them to feel more confident about what and who they’re voting for at the polls this year and for years to come. It is past time that politicians start shifting their accountability to people instead of corporations and the wealthy. 


  • Veronica Coptis

    Veronica Coptis joined the CCJ staff in March 2013 as a Community Organizer and is now serving as the Executive Director. She grew up in western Greene County near the Bailey Mine Complex and currently lives in the eastern part of the county. Before joining the CCJ staff, Veronica served on the Board of Directors for CCJ and organized with Mountain Watershed Association. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from West Virginia University. She enjoys hiking and geocaching at Ryerson State Park and other areas around Greene County with her husband and daughters. Read more about Veronica in a New Yorker Magazine profile at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/03/the-future-of-coal-country. Contact Veronica at veronica@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org.

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