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YOU GUYS. ONE REPUBLICAN. That’s what’s between keeping public schools public/never hearing about DeVos again. So even though our plan is to diversify the Actions of the Day, we’re back on DeVos because it is so incredibly important. (Unsure why? Check out past posts.)

As of late Wednesday night, here is the update on where we are with the vote to confirm or deny Betsy DeVos’ nomination to Secretary of Education:

  • Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have pledged to vote against DeVos. Murkowski specifically cited that she had “heard from thousands of Alaskans who have shared their concerns about Mrs. DeVos as Secretary of Education, by phone, in person, by email and through petition,” which played a role in her decision. GO TEAM.
  • If the vote took place now, Collins + Murkowski + 48 Senators in the Democratic caucus = a 50-50 vote. That would mean that Vice-President Mike Pence would be the tie breaker. No thanks.
  • There are a number of Republicans who are allegedly still on the fence. We need to ensure one of them votes against DeVos.

So now what?

Do you live in Ohio, Kansas, or Nebraska? You have a Republican Senator who have not decided which way to vote on DeVos. You have two options at this stage in the game: call or go to their office. (Don’t live in any of these states? Scroll down to the final section.)

Call Your Senator

Here’s a script:

“Hi, my name is [name], and I live in [town]. I understand Senator [name] has not fully decided how s/he plans to vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos. I urge the Senator to vote against her nomination. Can you please add my name to the tally of constituents requesting the Senator to vote no?”

If the staffer answering the phone says that the Senator decided to vote against DeVos, obviously thank them profusely. If the Senator has decided to vote for her, state, “I hope before the vote the Senator has a change of heart. Please pass along that his/her constituents, particularly those with children in public school, will remember this come reelection.”

Here are their phone numbers, with each name linked to their website’s contact page.

Sen. Portman (OH) – 202-224-3353, 614-469-6774, 513-684-3265, 216-522-7095, 419-259-3895

Sen. Moran (KS) – 202-224-6521, 785-628-6401, 785-539-8973, 620-232-2286, 316-631-1410, 913-393-0711

Sen. Fischer (NE) – 202-224-6551, 308-234-2361, 402-441-4600, 402-200-8816,  402-391-3411, 308-630-2329

Visit Your Senator

Going in person and in a group is an excellent idea if you can swing it at either the local or DC offices! Be prepared to be met by a staffer playing off the fact that they don’t do much related to policy/don’t know how their boss plans to vote – both are likely true but not the point. No matter; you are constituents with deep concerns about how this is going to impact students for generations to come.

Politely but firmly state that you would like to talk about those concerns (and, if visiting a local office, have them shared with the office in DC) because the Senator has not clearly endorsed DeVos or stated that s/he knows how s/he will vote.

Be sure to get the card of the staffer with whom you meet, and have each person who attended the meeting thank them via email afterwards (1. because it’s always good to build a relationship with your local staffer, and 2. so they have your contact info too). Also get on social media afterwards and tag the Senator, saying that you met with X, and are grateful that they passed along your info.

All of this assumes that you’ll be seen immediately and the staffer will be gracious. If they tell you that you cannot be seen without an appointment, that is not true. You can just sit on down and wait to be seen. Ohio, Kansas, and Nebraska are all one-party consent states, so you can go so far as to record the conversations without permission and post online, tagging your local media and the Senator to take it further. They’re unlikely to want to create a scene with kindly constituents who care about education, but good to have these in your back pocket!

But I Don’t Live in Kansas, Nebraska, or Ohio!

Encourage all of your friends who do live in those states to be calling and visiting!

Sample Facebook post: 

Do you live in Kansas, Nebraska, or Ohio? You have a Republican Senator who hasn’t made a final decision about DeVos. Please call their offices and tell them to vote No on DeVos. There’s a script at bit.ly/2kZIYRJ that will make this the easiest call to make. Phone numbers below too.

Sen. Portman (OH) – 202-224-3353, 614-469-6774, 513-684-3265, 216-522-7095, 419-259-3895

Sen. Moran (KS) – 202-224-6521, 785-628-6401, 785-539-8973, 620-232-2286, 316-631-1410, 913-393-0711

Sen. Fischer (NE) – 202-224-6551, 308-234-2361, 402-441-4600, 402-200-8816,  402-391-3411, 308-630-2329

Sample Tweet:

Live in KS, NE, or OH? There’s still time to #DumpDeVos. Phone numbers for your GOP Sen.s + script at bit.ly/2kZIYRJ

Let’s make it happen people! On 3: WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER!

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