Grandpa is a little racist was something I learned at a very young age. Grandpa is from a different generation was something I was told by my mother. I have found another reason for Grandpa’s behavior; Grandpa is from Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Parkersburg, West Virginia is not a liberal city; instead, it is excessively conservative. In the 2020 presidential election, 70.2% of Parkersburg, West Virginia voted Republican. Their current mayor, Tom Joyce, is a very strong member of the conservative party.
Read on to learn more about the political history of Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Parkersburg, West Virginia has a long-standing history of voting conservative in elections. In the 2020 election, Trump vs. Biden, 70.2% voted for the Republican Party. On the other hand, 28.2% voted for the Democrat Party and 1.6% voted Independent.
These trends of voting Republican have been around for generations. In the past 6 presidential elections, Parkersburg, West Virginia voted Republican by more than a 10% margin.
In regards to donations for a political campaign 818 people paid to support the Republican Party. Their efforts together totaled up to a $234,403 donation to the Republican Party. That means that an average of $287 was donated per individual.
In charts, it is shown that there is an upward trend of people voting Republican in Parkersburg, West Virginia. In 2000, only 60% of the populace voted Republican, but this trend continued to increase because in 2008, there were 65% of the populace voted for the Republican Party, and now 70% of the populace is voting Republican. If this trend continues, we can expect 75% of the Parkersburg, West Virginia populace will vote Republican in the 2028 presidential election.
Parkersburg, West Virginia’s current representative is David McKinley. Parkersburg is in the 1st congressional district and David McKinley has been representing this area since 2011. He helps preserve the Conservative values that Parkersburg cherishes.
Parkersburg, West Virginia is the 3ed largest city in West Virginia and so likewise it has a very large city council. Parkersburg has separated its city council into the following 8 departments.
- Building Enforcement Agency
- Parkersburg Bicycle Advisory Board
- City Tree Commission
- PHS/Washington Avenue Architectural Review Board
- Julia-Ann Square Architectural Review Board
- Parkersburg Downtown Design & Façade Committee
- Board of Zoning Appeals
- Municipal Planning Commission.
The vast majority of council members on these 8 different councils are Republican. This means that the Republican agenda is fully supported in the city council and there isn’t a balance between the two main political parties, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Tom Joyce is a very conservative man. Tom Joyce ran under the Republican Party and was able to win over supporters by promising to help small businesses recover from the awful effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Yet, not everything has been sunshine and roses with Tom Joyce as mayor. After an event where a local man in West Virginia made threats of blowing up a Rural King while on heavy drugs, Tom Joyce did some research into Parkersburg, West Virginia’s drug abuse facilities.
He found out that Parkersburg cared for 25% of West Virginia’s drug addiction patients. He decided to help deal with the drug issue he would refuse to fund any more expansion of the drug addiction facilities to force drug addicts to get treatment elsewhere.
Tom Joyce has made some major changes in dealing with the finances of Parkersburg, West Virginia. He has moved money around in the financial department to add more money to the police and fire departments.
The controversial aspect of Tom Joyce giving more funding to the police and fire department was that it happened right around the time that George Floyd was killed. When Tom Joyce changed the financial plan, it seemed that he was supporting the police department during a period of racial unrest over police brutality.
Still, not all of the financial movement has been controversial. Tom Joyce created a small business relief fund. This was very important for the community at the time the fund was created. The Coronavirus pandemic was in full force and small businesses were struggling because of a lack of customers due to social distancing rules. With this fund, Tom Joyce was able to support the community and protect local businesses from going under during a financial crisis.
Tom Joyce also helped improve the city by supporting the parks department in their plans to fix the local water park. He helped them gain the resources needed to fix the water fountain in the park and put a splash pad in the park. He made the community a more family-friendly community.
Racism is not a subtle issue in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Parkersburg, West Virginia was included in a study of the 501 biggest cities in the United States of America. In this study, they listed the most diverse and the least diverse cities. Parkersburg, West Virginia came in as the least diverse major city in the entire United States of America.
A reporter wanting to gain insights into the community on the diversity issue was shocked to have received many ignorant and racist comments. This reporter questioned West Virginia University’s professor of history Arron Crites, who lives in Parkersburg, on what he thought of the results.
He told her that they have a hard time keeping West Virginians here and stated that people should leave people from other countries alone. He offered no solutions for increasing diversity and responded in a way that indicated that he believed that it was not an issue for the city. He even argued that being less diverse was not a bad thing.
This is a good example of how the people in Parkersburg, West Virginia feels about diversity. In a local Mexican restaurant in Parkersburg, West Virginia, the owner of that restaurant was told by a customer to go back to his country after speaking in Spanish while in the kitchen. Racist comments and actions are not uncommon in the city boundaries of Parkersburg, West Virginia.
One of the biggest scandals in Parkersburg, West Virginia history is the scandal of the DuPont plant and their illegal activity that many people ignored for years. DuPont was a synthetic rubber-making company. The plant supplied thousands of jobs to local Parkersburg citizens. The plant was located in the heart of Parkersburg, West Virginia, which is next to the Ohio River. The Ohio River is actually property that belongs to West Virginia, despite the name indicating otherwise.
DuPont, while creating their rubber, had an excess of PFOA chemicals. Their response to dispose of these chemicals was to dump them into the Ohio River. The PFOA chemical is linked to kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid issues, high cholesterol, reproductive and developmental harms, and reduced effectiveness of vaccines. It also was known to kill livestock.
In 1998, DuPont was caught spilling the chemicals into the river, but it was a slow legal battle because those who were seeing DuPont were not powerful. The legal battle lasted for 20 years before DuPont was forced to pay $671 million towards cleaning up the water.
I was a child when this scandal came out, but I remember my grandparents being shooked about it and being forced to drink only bottled water for months while the city figured out how to deal with the issue at hand.
Parkersburg, West Virginia did little about the DuPont chemicals and it was governmental organizations that came in with the water bottles to support the community. The local government used more of their support on the business in the community itself.
Proud Boys Association
After the 2020 presidential election, a group of rioters stormed the capital building. The group was led by an organization called the Proud Boys. The Proud Boys are an organization that is far-right extremists who are considered Neo Nazis.
Parkersburg, West Virginia is not unknown to the Proud Boys organization and has a chapter in its city. The head of the West Virginia chapter, Jefferey Finley, was one of the first people to break into the capital building. He used violence to break into the building and caused a lot of damage.
Jefferey Finley helped the other members from Parkersburg, West Virginia get into the capital and communicated with other leaders of the Proud Boys comity to help the cause. He left the capital building at one point during the riot to find that the police outside had doubled and no one else was able to get inside the capital building.
He contacted the leaders of the organization and told them to make sure no one else left the capital building because if they left, they would not get back in. By releasing this information, the leaders were allowed to cause more damage inside the US capital building.
In April of 2022, he admitted guilt and was charged with a year in prison and is required to pay a $500 fine to help pay for damages done to the capital building.