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Parkersburg councilwoman shares campaign experience in COVID-19 anthology

Parkersburg City Councilwoman Wendy Tuck speaks during a Sept. 13 council meeting. Tuck’s story of campaigning during the COVID-19 pandemic was included in the recently published British anthology “Women in Lockdown.” (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg City Councilwoman Wendy Tuck found common ground with people on another continent, sharing her experience campaigning during COVID-19 in a British anthology of women’s stories from the pandemic.

“Women in Lockdown” was published by the WayfinderWoman Trust, a U.K. charity that works to educate and support women.

As pandemic precautions disrupted daily lives and halted activities, the group solicited accounts of women’s experiences and collected essays, diary entries, poems and artwork which formed the book. Profits from its sales will go toward providing services to women the group supports.

“It really is history (and) the ordinary and amazing things people had to go through,” Tuck said.

Tuck had thrown her hat into the ring for the District 4 City Council seat and was launching her first campaign when West Virginia mostly shut down in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Women in Lockdown” is a collection of stories about the COVID-19 pandemic assembled and published by the WayfinderWoman Trust in the United Kingdom. (Photo Provided)

“It was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m running for office, and I can’t go to any fundraisers and I can’t go door to door,'” she said. “The only thing you could use was … social media and the mailbox.”

Tuck decided to utilize the mail to not only get the word out about her campaign but also see what needs her neighbors had as a result of the pandemic. She got about 50 surveys back and matched people in need with those willing to help with things like picking up medicine or groceries, or just calling to check in.

“I think it made a difference,” she said, noting her 100-44 margin of victory in the Democratic primary.

Tuck said she walked the neighborhood a lot, talking to people and learning more about the area she’d called home for 38 years. She even had some friends paint rocks with her name on them and distributed them around the area.

“You had to get creative,” she said. “It was the craziest campaign. Nothing was normal.”

Parkersburg City Councilwoman Wendy Tuck utilized the painted rock trend as a campaign tactic in 2020, when options were limited due to COVID-19. (Photo Provided)

“Women in Lockdown” — which can be ordered from www.wayfinderwoman.com — received the 2021 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

“I tell you, the Brits do have that droll humor and stiff upper lip, but these stories are so amazing,” Tuck said. “I’ve laughed out loud, cried, been moved by the tender and novel and many ways women looked after their neighbors, families, themselves.”

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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