Stephen Smith is a West Virginia gubernatorial candidate, who has built a people-powered political and social movement in West Virginia which seeks to overtake the state’s gouvernement from the hands of what they describe as the ‘Good Ol’ Boys” club that has long-controlled the state’s political might.
What sets Mr. Smith apart from conventional political candidates, though, is his championing of a state-wide organized opposition movement, dubbed West Virginia Can’t Wait. The movement has organized more than 50 races around the state under on banner and one clear message: to spread the levers of power equitably amongst the state’s residents.
During our conversation earlier this week at our loft here in Providence, Mr. Smith described many of the mechanical and practical elements that have allowed for the West Virginia Can’t Wait movement to develop and experience significant momentum.
What can Rhode Island, and other small to mid-sized states and regions learn from Mr. Smith’s campaign and the West Virginia Can’t Wait movement? And now that an infrastructure has been created, what will it take to build the broad, non-partisan and nimble base of support to turn out on election day?