Our first attempt at streamlining actions. This is it for the week. At the bottom is the preview for next week. I hope you will commit the small amount of time it takes to join the resistance. They can be done one a day – or all at once.
We voted them in, they answer to us. #RisingStrong
National Actions – Estimated time 10-12 minutes
A. Block Trump’s Cabinet Picks
1. BETSY DE VOS, Education Secretary
Senate Health, Education Labor, & Pensions (HELP)Committee begins consideration of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. DeVos has no experience working in public education, and has been a strong proponent of diverting public resources to private and religious schools through vouchers and to unregulated for-profit charter schools. Find out more about DeVos’s attacks on public education with this video from Brave New Films.
Action: Contact Senators Tester & Daines to oppose the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education.
Script: I urge Senator ______ to oppose Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Betsy DeVos has a long history of pushing policies that undermine the public school system, a system with which she is not personally experienced. Private school vouchers and for profit charter schools funnel needed money and support away from the students who need it most. Her past support of the very controversial forced conversion therapy is further proof that she does not have student’s best interest at heart. Opposing her is a vote for the greater good. Please vote No. I will be watching the vote closely.
2. REP. TOM PRICE, HHS
Senate HELP begins consideration of Rep. Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Rep. Price is a radical conservative who wants to destroy the Affordable Care Act, eviscerate anti- poverty efforts, and undermine women’s health, reproductive rights, and LGBTQ rights. There are also unanswered ethical questions about profits Price has made trading health care stocks during his time in Congress where he worked on health care legislation.
Action: Ask Senators Tester and Daines to oppose the nomination of Rep. Tom Price for HHS Secretary.
Script: I am calling to oppose Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services. I believe we should be expanding health care coverage for Americans, not making it more difficult to access and afford. Price wants to scale back Medicare and Medicaid, is out of touch with the realities of the challenges and needs for reproductive freedom and safety, and has financial conflicts of interest that would, potentially, skew his judgement. A better choice should be demanded for the person who will lead Health and Human Services to ensure our country has the best possible healthcare and service support for the needs for all humans, not just those in line with Rep Price’s interest. I urge you to vote No on Price’s appointment. I will be watching the vote closely.
3. SCOTT PRUIT, Admin of EPA
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee begins consideration of Scott Pruitt for Administrator of the EPA. Pruitt, a climate change DENIER and close ally of the fossil fuels industry, has used his position as Oklahoma Attorney General to undermine rules to protect the environment and public health.
Action: Ask your Senators Tester and Daines to oppose the nomination of Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator.
Script: I am calling to strongly urge you to vote against Scott Pruitt for EPA. He has lead numerous charges against environmental legislation including trying to block an anti- smog bill that his state has the ability to implement, blocking power plant safeguards, and opposing the clean water act. He has objected to the EPA relying on reports from scientific bodies and has been openly critical of climate science.
Scott Pruitt has worked with and received large contributions from the very companies he would be expected to police and his record clearly shows he will do nothing of the sort.
It is our duty to maintain protections for a safe and healthy environment for our children and generations to come. Vote against Scott Pruitt and insist on an alternative who will uphold the EPA’s goals.
B. Stand With Civil Rights Leader John Lewis. Stand Against Trump’s Agenda
Nearly three dozen Members of Congress have announced that they will not be attending inauguration. Why? Donald Trump’s attacks on civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis – attacks Trump made on a weekend meant to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Does Zinke, Daines and Tester stand with Trump or stand with John Lewis? Let’s find out.
Action: Urge your Rep. Zinke and Senators Tester and Daines to boycott the inauguration and stand with Rep. John Lewis.
Local Actions – Estimated time 5 minutes
Tell Arntzen NO on dismantling the ‘Graduation Matters’ Program.
Arntzen has decided to phase out the successful, privately-funded Graduation Matters Montana program established by the Office of Public Instruction in 2010.
Since its implementation the grant-funded program started through the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is credited with increasing on-time graduation rates from 80 to 86 percent, dropout rates have lowered from 5 to 3.4 percent and the dropout rate of American Indian students has dropped by more than 30 percent.
More than $1.3 million has been funneled from OPI into 58 Montana communities to create community-based solutions for local schools, again, based on support from Montana businesses and foundations.
Graduation Matters Montana costs taxpayers nothing yet they get to reap the benefits of a well-educated, better-trained workforce.
Action: Please write or call Ms. Arntzen and let her know that destroying a successful, privately-funded program for Montana students is not a step in the right direction.
👀Looking Ahead to Next Week:
Missoula Rises meets with Sen. Daines’ staff to discuss his position on Cabinet picks and the ACA.
Save the date, we will put down the phones, get off the keyboards and have a face to face discussion with Sen. Daines.
Details to come: Tuesday, January 24, 2017, Sen. Daines’ Office in Missoula. We’ve got lots to discuss.