The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Linda Benesch,

Morgantown Students, Seniors, & Political Leaders Urge Sen. Manchin to Vote for Build Back Better


Yesterday, students, seniors, and political leaders joined together for a rally urging Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to lower drug prices by swiftly voting for the Build Back Better Act.

Speakers included Danielle Walker (a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates), Aryanna Islam (President of the College Democrats of West Virginia), and Shane Assadzandi (Committee Chair for the Monongalia County Democratic Executive Committee).

The rally featured a mobile billboard truck which is traveling across West Virginia highlighting Sen. Manchin's promise to lower drug prices, which the Build Back Better Act would fulfill. The bill's drug pricing provisions are extremely popular with voters across the political spectrum.

Video of the event is available here and photos are available here.

Quotes from the rally:

"Senator Manchin: I need you to do your job....You were elected to represent each and every one of us...Move the bill, because we are tired of moving our loved ones to grave sites. We are tired of moving them to hospital beds." - Delegate Danielle Walker (D-Monongalia)

"Prescription drug prices are too high, too expensive...the price of insulin is a great example of where students and older folks alike both struggle to afford it. Build Back Better will put a cap on insulin so people who need it can actually afford to have it." - Aryanna Islam, President of the College Democrats of West Virginia

"The people of West Virginia desperately need lower prescription drug prices, which this act will provide. Investing in our own people should be a no-brainer, and Senator Manchin knows that. So he needs to pass this bill in its entirety now." - Shane Assadzandi, Committee Chair for the Monongalia County Democratic Executive Committee

"Hearing Aids need to be included in the Build Back Better legislation passed by the House and waiting for a vote in the Senate. It will be paid for by lowering prescription drug costs...I urge Sen. Manchin to stop listening to the big pharma lobbyists and listen to his constituents by supporting the Build Back Better bill." - Kenneth St. Louis, Emeritus professor of speech-language pathology and audiology from West Virginia University, living with hearing loss

"We live in the richest country in the world. I can't, and my classmates can't, make our patients healthier. We can't heal anyone who can't afford the prices that the pharmaceutical companies are holding us ransom for." - Amanda Rahman, medical student at West Virginia University and a member of Students for a National Health Program

"Joe Manchin needs to stand with his constituents and not with the pharma lobbyists and the greedy liars on Wall Street who want to take more of our money whether it kills West Virginians or not." - Troy Miller, West Virginia Organizer at Social Security Works

"This is a state of people who have organized for their rights. Senator Manchin needs to stand up now in that history of resistance and coming together for each other." - Melinda St. Louis, Director of Public Citizen's Medicare for All Campaign who grew up in Morgantown

"We have the most need of any state...I'm asking you as a West Virginian...we need Build Back Better and we need it right now." - Eve Faulkes, Emeritus professor of graphic design from West Virginia University

Social Security Works' mission is to: Protect and improve the economic security of disadvantaged and at-risk populations; Safeguard the economic security of those dependent, now or in the future, on Social Security; and Maintain Social Security as a vehicle of social justice.