Community Organizing Summit April 6-8

Hosted by the Appalachian Gas Working Group

Schedule and Sessions

Friday April 6, 2018

Ohio Environmental Council & OEC Action Fund. Hosted by Carol Davey, Regional Director, Southeast Ohio.

The Ohio Environmental Council will be presenting on their work throughout the state, highlighting their blend of centralized policy and legal expertise with a robust field program. This model allows them to offer real change from the ground up. The presentation will be framed through the lens of the Powhatan Point incident and offer a brief history, lessons learned, and their hopes for the future of the region.

Presentation slides


Divestment. Hosted by Austin Sachs, Director and Founder of Protect and Divest.

Behind every fossil fuel infrastructure project lies an intricate web of financing that we unknowingly contribute to. If we want to truly stand up to environmental degradation we must commit our actions and habits as well as our money to the cause. Through the divestment from fossil fuel funding banks and advocating of government funds to divest as well, we can make our money talk and help contribute even more to a sustainable future.

Presentation slides and handouts


Saturday April 7, 2018

Session 1A: Starting and Building a Campaign. Hosted by Bill Price, Field Organizing Manager, WV Sierra Club.

What questions need to be answered when looking to begin an issue campaign? What are the basic building blocks of an effective campaign that will assure a successful outcome? These questions and more will be discussed in this workshop. Bill Price is the Field Organizing Manager for the Sierra Club, and has worked on numerous environmental and social justice issues over the last 17+ years.

Presentation slides

Contact: Bill Price,

Session 1B: Gas Related Health/Medical Effects – Impact on individuals and community, available resources, health surveys, and water testing. Hosted by Jill Kriesky of Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project.

This workshop will provide participants with an easy-to-understand summaries of research findings on the impact of fracking on the health of those of us who live, play, an/or sleep near any of its stages — from exploring where to drill to final production.  We will also discuss how we can cut off the pathways of exposure to harmful emissions, and where to go when we experience health symptoms we believe are caused by fracking.

Presentation slides.

Contact: Jill Kriesky,

Session 2A: Appalachian Storage Hub, Mid-stream Processes, What this means to your community. Hosted by Robin Blakeman and Dustin White of Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

For the past 3 years, OVEC staff members have been focusing on discerning and distributing information about Unconventional Oil and Gas Developments, (UOGD), which will affect our region. The Appalachian Storage Hub is the biggest threat to tap water and air quality in the Ohio River valley regions that we’ve heard of. In our workshop, you will see maps and receive handouts about this project and what it will mean in terms of second and third wave fracking operations in our region. We are moving into solution focused dialogues with allies, so if you would like to join networks that are developing ways to resist key components of this massive project, you will have the opportunity to sign up.

Contact: Robin Blakeman,

Session 2B: Maximizing and Diversifying Your Media and Outreach. Hosted by Vivian Stockman of Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

Is social media the main way you reach people beyond face-to-face meetings and phone calls?  Interested in expanding your reach to people who have never heard of you or your issues before? It’s time to check in with the old school media—newspapers, and radio and TV news.

In this session, we’ll look at the power of letters-to-the-editor, op-eds, press releases, media advisories and press conferences. We’ll provide examples of how to compose these documents, and we’ll talk about how to get your words “out there” into the mass media.

Contact: Vivian Stockman,

Session 3A: Environmental Monitoring. Hosted by Leann Leiter of Earthworks and Angie Rosser of WV Rivers Coalition.

Fracking comes with invisible but hazardous air pollution. In this interactive presentation, Leann Leiter, Field Advocate for Earthworks, discusses the technology that makes the invisible visible. Through the Community Empowerment Project, the Earthworks team partners with affected residents to identify gas wells, compressors, waste injection wells, and other facilities of concern, to document air emissions using a FLIR infrared camera, and to take action to hold operators and regulators accountable. We’ll see powerful footage of fracking pollution in West Virginia and Ohio, talk about how to access and use this footage in your advocacy, and learn how to request a FLIR filming visit from Earthworks! Angie Rosser will discuss the WV/VA Water Quality Monitoring Program, a volunteer program designed to monitor streams that are impacted or have the potential to be impacted by shale gas development.

WV Rivers’ slides and Earthworks’ slides

Contact: Angie Rosser,; Leann Leiter,

Session 3B: Speaking Across Bridges – How to talk with all sides. Hosted by Justin Raines of WV Sierra Club.

This interactive workshop will educate participants on the ins and outs of reaching people with different viewpoints and mindsets. The learning will be highly hands-on. Your learn what works when communicating with folks on the other side of the aisle and what doesn’t. You’ll get a chance to practice learned approaches approaches.


Session 4A: Fighting Eminent Domain – Co-Tenancy, Forced Pooling, Right To Trespass, and Protecting Your Land. Hosted by Dave McMahon.

Dave is a lawyer and co-founder of West Virginia Surface Owner’s Rights Organization.  He went to West Virginia Wesleyan College and George Washington University Law School.  Before SORO he helped organize the Oil and Gas Reform Coalition which got surface owner protections after drilling spiked during the Arab Oil Embargo. He has lobbied the Legislature for low income people and surface owners since the 1980’s.  He left part-time employment at Legal Aid and started a part-time private practice in 2008 representing small and medium mineral owners in lease negotiations etc. and helping surface owners.


Session 4B: Coalition Building – Strengthening through partnerships. Hosted by Allen Johnson of Eight Rivers Council.

This topic explores strategies towards building allied individual and organizational partners, that when working together can pool wisdom, personnel, and resources to more effectively realize mutual goals. This workshop will be participatory. Discussion will include pitfalls to avoid, leadership, assessing strengths, communication, and accountability. Allen Johnson has leadership involvement with numerous coalitions, including national and regional coalitions comprising a wide array of religious and secular groups and perspectives. Allen also administers a national award-winning West Virginia public library through effective community partnerships.

Presentation slides


Session 5A: Permitting and Enforcement – Community oversight, enforcing the law, and protecting your rights. Hosted by Kendra Hatcher of Downstream Strategies.

Are you confused by the complicated permitting process required for shale gas development and it’s related infrastructure? Between well pad construction, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and the pipelines needed to transport the fracked gas, there are multiple permits companies must receive from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) before construction can begin. Kendra Hatcher with Downstream Strategies will help you understand 5 permits needed for pipelines and fracking infrastructure and will explain how you can get involved in the permitting process.

Presentation slides


Session 5B: Community Canvassing – Cold calls, door-to-door, sculpting your “ask”. Hosted by Justin Raines of the WV Sierra Club.

Door-to-door canvassing has been the foundation of political communication and engagement for centuries. Research shows that face-to-face communication is still the most effective form of persuasion for political organizing, fundraising, and much more. Justin Raines of WV Sierra Club will help take you through the ins and outs of the canvasing process, and showcase proven methods to maximize your outreach.


FracTracker –  Hosted by Leann Leiter of Earthworks.

The FracTracker Mobile App is a tool for community residents and researchers who are concerned about oil and gas industry impacts. It is an easy and powerful way to document and share your observations. Leann Leiter of Earthworks, and former FracTracker researcher, will introduce how to download and use this valuable tool. She’ll also share how she puts the FracTracker app to work in the field.

Presentation slides

Contact: Leann Leiter,

Sunday April 8,2018

Pipeline Tour with Diana Gooding

Please meet near the West side of the Dining Hall at 9am. The route will take participants past the Dominion Storage Hub to parts of the MVP and ACP pipelines in Harrison and Lewis Counties, and to the Stonewall gathering.

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