Honorable Dean Heller
United States Senate
Fax: (702)388-6501 (775)686-5729 (202)228-6753
Dear Senator Heller,
I am a mother, not a teacher, and I urge you to vote no on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. Ms. DeVos is wholly unqualified. She knows less about public education than I do. She showed up to her confirmation hearing the way a high school student might have who had forgotten there was a test that day. Ethics experts from both Republican and Democratic parties have said that her refusal to address fundamental ethics concerns regarding her investments and her role in her family foundation disqualify her for a Cabinet position.
I am a proud Democrat from the great state of California, the state that helped turned Nevada blue. Because our elected officials stand firm representing our progressive values, we are able to devote our energies to helping to support our neighbors, your constituents in Nevada as they try to convince you to stand up for things like public education. My Democratic Club was able to donate to senatorial candidates in five other states because our candidates in California were secure in their elections and didn't need the money we had raised. There were fundraising events in my own neighborhood for candidates from as far away as Florida. We chartered busses and spent the weekend walking your precincts and talking to your voters about the things they care about. We spent days and evenings making calls from Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City and other places in California, talking to your constituents, our Nevada neighbors.
Nevadans aren’t very different from Californians. They want good schools. They want charter schools to face the same accountability that traditional schools face. They want their state legislature to fund public schools. They want stable faculties in their schools. They want the federal government to protect the rights of college students so that they can attend their classes without the risk of rape or sexual assault. They want a fairer student loan system. None of these values will be protected or advanced if Ms. DeVos is confirmed as Secretary of Education.
In November, one of our proudest moments in California was seeing Nevada turn blue. We can't take all the credit. Nevada voters are changing. Your great state voted for a Democrat for President, flipped two Congressional seats from Republican to Democrat, and elected a Democratic Senator, the first Latina woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.
Now we are looking for more outlets for our activism. My children both marched with me and other family members in the Women’s March in January. It was a beautiful civics lesson. You might have seen the news reports; Los Angeles had about 750,000 marchers demonstrating for the values we hold dear, values that we know our neighbors in Nevada hold dear, too. Who knows? If we had known about their demonstrations outside your Las Vegas office ahead of time, we might have joined them!
I hope you will stand up for those voters today and vote No on Betsy DeVos.