Fellow Democrats – there are some huge events in the world of education happening right now, in Washington DC and here in our Washington State legislature. Here are two we’ve picked out for you:
1. Nationally – Last chance to Stop the Confirmation of Betsy DeVos!
The Republicans in the Senate have scheduled Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, for a vote as soon as possible on Tuesday afternoon. Two Republicans have already broken with their party to oppose DeVos – if we can flip one more, we can stop this terrible nomination from impacting our kids, teachers and schools.
Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, and the rest of the Senate Democrats plan to hold the Senate floor all night tonight to delay the vote and give people more time to make phone calls. Senate staff are saying that they’re getting record numbers of phone calls – more than 5 million calls from across the country in the past week – and we need to keep up the pressure!
DeVos has spent her career fighting for anti-public education policies. She’s woefully unqualified for the position, with deep unfamiliarity with critical issues around special education, funding, teacher evaluation and other issues. And more than 85,000 Washingtonians have already called and written to our own Senators to support their NO vote against DeVos.
The Republicans aren’t sitting on their hands – DeVos and her billionaire buddies are spending huge amounts of money to manufacture false support for her candidacy!
We need to call Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee of Utah and let them know Betsy DeVos is WRONG for American schools – PLEASE CALL:
Office of Sen. Orrin Hatch: 202-224-5251
Office of Sen. Mike Lee: 202-224-5444
The news makes it clear – the pressure to oppose DeVos is building. Let’s do our part! Here are just three of hundreds of articles talking about real people taking real action:
Politico: DeVos opposition snowballs into avalanche
Sunshine State News: Teachers Don All Black to Protest DeVos’ Confirmation for Ed Secretary
WRBG (Albany, NY): Local teachers wearing red to protest Betsy DeVos nomination
Charlotte Observer: Betsy DeVos nomination triggers massive phone campaign in North Carolina
WLWT (Cincinnati, OH): Protesters ask Portman not to endorse Trump’s pick for education secretary
CBS Denver: Colorado Parents and Teachers Protest DeVos Confirmation
Alaska Dispatch News: Alaskans crowd Murkowski’s Anchorage office to protest DeVos education nomination
Michigan Radio: More than 2,000 from Betsy DeVos’s alma mater signed letter in protest of her as Education Secretary
2. Locally – Hearing on State Education Funding Plans – express your support for the Democratic Plan!
Tonight, the House Appropriations Committee in our state House of Representatives is holding a hearing on two important education bills – the Republican plan to cut funding for schools across the state, which is SB 5607, and the Democratic plan to raise teacher salaries and fully fund education, HB 1843.
The Republican plan would raise the largest property tax increase in state history on middle class families, and hurt teachers and students by cutting standards across the state and opening the door to privatization of our entire school system. By contrast, the Democratic plan would invest $7.5 billion in raising teacher salaries, lowering class sizes, and reducing local levies to save local taxpayers money on their property tax bills. While the Republican bill is paid for with a regressive property tax, the Democratic proposal could be paid for with a capital gains tax on the richest 1%, a carbon tax on big polluting corporations, reforming our B&O tax or closing tax breaks.
At the hearing, teachers, parents, school administers, and education advocates all weighed in to support the Democratic proposal. But our legislators need to hear from you too. Both bills are in the House Appropriations Committee – the phone numbers of the members of the committee are available on our website
Vincent Buys-R LD 42, Lynden 360-786-7854
Michelle Caldier-R LD 26, Port Orrchard 360-786-7802
Bruce Chandler-R LD 15, Granger 360-786-7960
Cary Condotta-R LD 12, Wenatchee 360-786-7954
Larry Haler-R LD 8, Richland 360-786-7986
Paul Harris-R LD 17, Vancouver 360-786-7976
Drew MacEwen-R LD 35, Union 360-786-7902
Matt Manweller-R LD 13, Ellensburg 360-786-7808
Terry Nealey-R LD 16, Dayton 360-786-7828
Joe Schmick-R LD 9, Colfax 360-786-7844
Drew Stokesbary-R LD 31, Auburn 360-786-7846
David Taylor-R LD 15, Moxee 360-786-7874
Brandon Vick-R LD 18, Felida 360-786-7850
Mike Volz-R LD 6, Spokane 360-786-7922
J.T. Wilcox-R LD 2, Yelm 360-786-7912
Steve Bergquist-D LD 11, Renton 360-786-7862
Eileen Cody-D LD 34, Seattle 360-786-7978
Joe Fitzgibbon-D LD 34, Burien 360-786-7952
Drew Hansen-D LD 23, Bainbridge Island 360-786-7842
Zack Hudgins-D LD 11, Tukwila 360-786-7956
Laurie Jinkins-D LD 27, Tacoma 360-786-7930
Ruth Kagi-D LD 32, Seattle 360-786-7910
Kristine Lytton-D LD 40, Anacortes 360-786-7800
Timm Ormsby-D LD 3, Spokane 360-786-7946
Eric Pettigrew-D LD 37, Seattle 360-786-7838
Gerry Pollet-D LD 46, Seattle 360-786-7886
June Robinson-D LD 38, Everett 360-786-7864
David Sawyer-D LD 29, Parkland 360-786-7906
Tana Senn-D LD 41, Mercer Island 360-786-7894
Larry Springer-D LD 45, Kirkland 360-786-7822
Derek Stanford-D LD 1, Bothell 360-786-7928
Pat Sullivan-D LD 47, Covington 360-786-7858
Steve Tharinger-D LD 24, Dungeness 360-786-7904
CALL and let them know that you support the HB 1843, the Democratic plan to improve our schools, not the GOP Senate plan to cut funding for hundreds of thousands of Washington students and punish our teachers.
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The WA Democrats Communications Team