UPDATED Call to Action: Betsy DeVos Education Secretary we must RESIST -Speak out!

trump-94bacUPDATE: The Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) has held hearings on the appointment of Betsy DeVos and we understand a vote will come within days.

Her nomination is of particular concern.  For example, her hearing was postponed because, according to the Washington Post, “DeVos had left a $125,000 anti-union political donation off of her disclosure forms.” See more about her record and what she did to Detroit schools below. This pick is particularly upsetting because this is about our children, the future of this country.

Start calling etc. Monday morning! If you’ve never done this before or need a pep talk read this.

First Contact your own Senator: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/  and Congressman/woman (Representative to the House) Find Your Representative even if you’ve contacted them about something before, do it, register your opposition.  Everyone will be voting on these confirmations Friday or next week.

Then contact members of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP): http://www.help.senate.gov/about/members  there is a link to each members page, find their contact information and choose Washington DC office. These are the leaders of the committee:

Chairman Lamar Alexander (R): 455 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-4944

Fax: (202) 228-3398

TTY: (202) 224-1546

Ranking Member Patty Murray WA (D):  54 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510

Phone: (202) 224-2621

Fax: (202) 224-0238

Toll Free: (866) 481-9186

Other members of this committee – call each one! Remind them their recommendations, the vote they take in this committee, impacts ALL OF US, not just their own constituents!

Start with the Republicans:

Susan Collins (ME) 202.224.2523

Lisa Murkowski (AK) 202.224.6665
Johnny Isakson (GA) 202.224.3643
Orrin Hatch (UT) 202.224.5251
Richard Burr (NC) 202.224.3154
Rand Paul (KY) 202.224.4343

Michael Enzi (WY) 202.224.3424
Dr. Bill Cassidy (LA) 202.224.5824
Pat Roberts (KS) 202.224.4774
Tim Scott (SC) 202.224.6121

Then contact the Democrats – tell them to do the right thing and oppose DeVos’ confirmation.
Al Franken (MN) 202-224-5641
Tammy Baldwin (WI) 202-224-5653
Tim Kaine (VA) 202-224-4024
Bernie Sanders (VT) 202-224-5141
Michael Bennett (CO) 202-224-5852
Christopher Murphy CT) 202-224-4041
Maggie Hassan (NH) 202-224-3324
Robert Casey (PA) 202-224-6324
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) 202-224-2921
Elizabeth Warren (MA) 202-224-4543
And if you are feeling ambitious, contact senators who are all going to be voting regardless of the recommendation – the rumor is that Senate Leader Mitch McConnell will call for a vote even if the committee votes NOT to recommend.

Here is a list of all senators phone numbers:  https://www.senate.gov/general/resources/pdf/senators_phone_list.pdf

Here is a list of all House of Representative members phone numbers and their committee assignments: http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Use Facebook and Twitter to contact each member of this committee AFTER YOU CALL and whomever else you have time to contact: http://triagecancer.org/congressional-twitter-handles/ and the GOP caucuses in the senate: @SenateGOP and house @HouseGOP.

Share your messages on social media, post on Facebook, tweet to friends, let us know what you said and how it went. Lets do this together! This is advocacy and our children need us!

More about Devos:

The Detroit News  reports, Seven other DeVos family members combined to give the committee another $1.5 million on the same day, according to Secretary of State records. The powerful West Michigan family often coordinates contributions for maximum effect.

DeVos, 58, is a former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and helped push a failed 2000 ballot proposal to amend the Michigan state Constitution to create a voucher system for students to attend nonpublic schools.

A Huffington Post article describes the effort as a failure for students, and for standards:

In the 2012 – 2013 school year 38 percent of charter schools received state academic rankings below the 25th percentile – meaning that 75 percent of all the schools in the state performed better. By contrast, only 23 percent traditional public schools fell below the 25th percentile, according to an exhaustive investigation by the Detroit Free Press. Not surprisingly, the New York Times found that the better schools are located in the richer neighborhoods. Despite these failures, DeVos fought for, and won, laws that allow Michigan’s charter schools to operate without any oversight or accountability.

While schools were failing, the program was a boom for the private companies that benefited from the program:

The majority of these are run by for-profit companies. In 2013-2014 there were 296 charters operating 370 schools in the state and 61 percent of those were run by full-service, for-profit management companies. Another 17 percent were partially run by for profits.

More information:

Kids For Sale: Betsy DeVos And The End Of Public Education

A sobering look at what Betsy DeVos did to education in Michigan …

Betsy DeVos Is Coming for Your Public Schools – Newsweek

‘DeVos omits $125K anti-union donation in disclosure – Detroit News

A Flurry Of Confirmation Hearings Before Trump Takes Office : NPR

Betsy DeVos omitted $125000 anti-union political donation from …