Hi my name is Elizabeth Opyoke Cruikshank and of course you can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I grew up on Tygart Lake in Taylor County as the Daughter, Granddaughter and Great Granddaughter of coal miners which is not unlike most folks reading this, I am sure. I am very proud of who I am and where I come from but I not only want more for my family but I want more for my state. We need to protect and invest in our most valuable natural resource… Our People! Now to work on getting all 1.8 million people in the Great State of West Virginia to realize that their value is greater than JUST their paycheck like they have been told most of their lives. I think our value comes from the fact that we are so close to our mountains, lakes, forests and streams even in our largest cities we only have to travel a few miles to see our sates splendor in all her glory. It is also easy to forget that because we get to experience her beauty every day that there have been people out to do her harm and limit our worth since our resources have been found… We must do better… We deserve better!
I come to the West Virginia Environmental Council this year after working last year with Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer doing her constituent outreach. I am back in West Virginia after being bumped along the East Coast for the past 20 years splitting my time between the mountains of West Virginia and the dark sand of Folly Beach, South Carolina. I have recently have had to deal with off shore drilling at my home in South Carolina and Fracking at my home in West Virginia who would have thought that I would have to fight the same devil in both places I have chosen to hang not only my hat but my heart!
My background is in Political Science and International Business and I have worked in development and as an advocate for several organizations. I am very active in the progressive community not only in West Virginia but also South Carolina including WV Free, Fairness WV, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Our Children Our Future, Lions Club, Fairmont Women’s Club, West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women, WV Norml, Old English Sheep Dog Rescue of the Carolinas and I am the Co-Founder of Fairmont’s First Friday Arts and Music Series.
I have a 19 year old son, Cable, who will be attending Fairmont State University in the fall and will be studying Engineering. I thought I was an advocate, he runs circles around me. This child wants to actual change the world! Thank you for allowing me to channel your voice to our elected officials this session. I look forward to hearing from you on your concerns on what is affecting our state!