Nearly a quarter of all children in West Virginia live below the poverty line, and more than half qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.
The 10-point platform was the result of 94 proposals submitted at 48 community meetings around the state that were then debated, whittled down and voted on.
The campaign emphasized Medicaid expansion as a primary goal. Medicaid expansion, an optional provision of the federal Affordable Care Act, would offer health insurance to more than 100,000 West Virginians with income levels starting just above the poverty line. The first three years of the expansion would be fully paid for by the federal government. After three years, the federal government would cover 90 percent of costs with the state picking up the rest.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is one of only two Democratic governors who have not yet committed to expanding Medicaid. Eight Republican governors have committed to expanding the program. Tomblin is waiting on a fiscal study of the state Medicaid system before he decides.
Kessler said he supported Medicaid expansion and said he expects that the pending study will reveal the expansion both saves money and is the right thing to do.
The campaign endorsed Tomblin's recent proposal to spend $17 million to provide child care for low-income parents.
It proposes expanding education and health services for prospective teen mothers.
The campaign endorsed reform of the state's overcrowded prison system, noting that it costs five times as much to incarcerate a prisoner for a year as it does to provide a year of high-quality child care.