Tomorrow, the Senate will vote on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, the nominee for Secretary of Education. DeVos is widely recognized as the least qualified nominee for this position in modern history. Below, nine public school teachers describe why we MUST do everything we can to encourage our Senators to vote no tomorrow.
“My school is a public school in Northern California; while part of a comprehensive school district, we are not what most people think of when they picture “school.” We serve students in grades K-12 in an Independent Study format—students come to us seeking something the traditional sites did not, or could not, provide for them. Recently, many are seeking sanctuary from bullying. One of the reasons I do what I do is that I firmly believe every child needs access to the education that will work best for them. Betsy DeVos does not. DeVos is a hazard to our educational system and to see her installed as the Secretary of Education would be disastrous, as she has clearly demonstrated that she has no understanding of the ongoing mission of education, nor of what teachers do on a daily basis. Her vision of education would gut the public school system which serves 90% of American youth by shifting taxpayer funds to private institutions. Her lack of understanding and appreciation of the federal law protecting the legal rights of students with disabilities is, in my opinion, criminally negligent.
Call your senator TODAY. Find their number here: https://www.callmycongress.com/
Use this script:
"Hello, my name is ((name)) I'm a constituent from ((town/city)). I am calling to urge the Senator to vote against Betsy DeVos' nomination to serve as Secretary of Education because her nomination is not in the best interests of the young people of America."
You can also tweet! Sample tweets:
@SenateMajLdr #dumpdevos she is not the right person to trust with our children's education #psn
@SenAlexander our children deserve better than Betsy Devos #dumpdevos #psn
Did you call or tweet? Fill out our survey to let us know: https://goo.gl/forms/v0dvFZclCmq4TqGL2
For this week's Story+Action, Pantsuit Nation is proud to feature the following story by activist and Pantsuit Nation and Pantsuit Republic (Texas) member, Ligia Pesquera, about why she will be marching this weekend.
I'm a Latina woman and an immigrant. Given the concerns about the Women’s March on Washington, from not being inclusive enough to maligning the voices of white feminists, I have been thinking about my participation. Why do I march?
As of January 19, 616 Sister Marches are planned around the world in addition to the Women's March on Washington, with an estimated 1,364,010 marchers worldwide.
To join a Sister City march, go the locator page.
Share your photos and stories with us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using #pantsuitsmarching and #pantsuitsmarch. Tag us @pantsuitnation
See you out there, Pantsuit Nation.
As many of you know and have been commenting on, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the millions who are insured because of it will likely come under increasing fire in our next administration, and it is already a target for the Republican-controlled House and Senate. As Pantsuit Nation member and this week’s featured writer for our Story+Action series, Janni Lehrer-Stein, writes, “the ACA presents critical support for the health care of Americans with disabilities, with its protection for those with pre-existing conditions, and many other supports and services critical to the vitality of the disability community may be at risk as well.”
Janni has been legally blind for almost 40 years because of an incurable retinal disease. Her diagnosis and disability fuel her work. She is a mother, a lawyer, and an advocate for Americans with disabilities.
We all grow up with a basic understanding that we cannot take our lives for granted, that life may send us in unexpected directions, and that all of us will face challenges. But what happens if that person is you?
As we do this work, of listening, engaging, and advocating for each other, we also encourage Pantsuit Nation members this week to call your elected senators and representatives to tell them you support the ACA. Over 29 million people stand to lose their health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Americans with disabilities are one of the most vulnerable groups but they are certainly not the only historically marginalized community that will suffer. An estimated 9.3 million low- and moderate-income people would lose marketplace insurance subsidies and many would also lose cost-sharing assistance that lower deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. (Source)
See how many people in your state will be affected.
Call your senators and representatives. Tell them, "I am a <name your state> voter, and I support the Affordable Care Act. I want Senator <name your Senator> (Or Congressman/woman) to vote to protect the ACA." Call them every day!
The Indivisible Guide has provided detailed steps on how to engage with your elected representatives.
Stronger Together, Pantsuit Nation.
[Image description: A woman with curly brown hair speaking at a lectern in front of a light blue backdrop with logos that say "democrats.org."]