Local members of the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative (ARI) Student Senate will meet with the Whitesburg City Council at 1 p.m., Dec. 2, to seek a vote on a resolution in support of the POWER+ Plan.
Jenkins Independent Schools ARI Senators McKenzie Gibson and Lindsey Belcher, along with other ARI Student Senators, will attend the meeting. Local elected officials will address the Senate and the event will be live streamed on www.theholler.org.
Two dozen local governments in Central Appalachia have passed resolutions calling for major federal investment to revive the region’s economy. Most have referred specifically to the White House budget proposal called the Power+ Plan, a $10 billion plan to help coal-impacted communities across the country.
The ARI Student Senate is part of the Race to the Top Grant given to the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVAC) and is comprised of senior and junior students from 17 school districts in the region.
“I have the pleasure of presenting this resolution at the hearing,” said Gibson. “This will be a great opportunity to have a say in something so important to our economy and the lives of people in my county.”
Cameron Wright, a former Senate member, is interning at KVAC as a participant in the Yale Gap Year program. “As young people in east Kentucky,” Wright said, “our voices are often unheard. This is a chance for the powerful boom of student voices to reverberate off the hills and mountains we call home.”