1. Oppose taxpayer-funded discrimination of LGBTQ+ youth. Betsy DeVos has gone on record saying that publicly funded schools can reject LGBTQIA students. (Read a full article from LGBTQ Nation here:) (There is also a Psychology Today article here.) During Congressional testimony, US Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Massachusetts) asked Secretary DeVos about Indiana’s Lighthouse Christian Academy. The handbook of this school says that if a student is from a home in which a “homosexual lifestyle” or “alternate gender identity” is practiced, that the student can be denied admission or expelled. Not just if the student themselves are LGBTQIA, but also if anyone in their home is. From the Psychology Today article: “We know that when a family rejects a child’s LGBT identity, it can increase the risk of suicide almost 20 percent. I’m afraid of what will happen when the head of our nation’s education system does the same.” Contact our senators and ask them to take a public stand for only using education funds for public schools, the voucher system and not religious education.
- Kaine: Washington DC: 202–224–4024, Manasses 703–361–3192, Roanoke 540–682–5693, Virginia Beach 757–518–1674, Richmond 804–771–2221, Abingdon 276–525–4790, Danville 434-792–0976, and his contact form is here.
- Warner: Washington DC 202-224-2023, Roanoke 540-857-2676, Abingdon 276-628-8158, Norfolk 757-441-3079, Richmond 804-775-2314, Vienna 703-442-0670. His “Submit Comment” form is here.
- Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _______, and my zip code is ________. I’m contacting Senator_____________ because I am concerned that Betsy DeVos’ would have my tax dollar fund schools that discriminate against gay kids, which could increase the risk of youth suicide. We need all schools to welcome all kids. I am asking the senator to make a public statement to support the use of public money only for public education—not the voucher system and not religious education. Thank you.”
2. Yesterday we asked you to contact Goodlatte about HR 2761, about healthcare for veterans who have or might be deported. Today, we ask you to reach out to him again about another one of Rep. Vargas’ bills, HR 2760. This bill would “require the Secretary of Homeland Security to identify aliens who have served, or are serving, in the Armed Forces of the United States when those aliens apply for an immigration benefit or are placed in an immigration enforcement proceeding, and for other purposes.” Making sure that people who have served in our military are recognized as our veterans in their endeavor of immigrating is a truly basic way of honouring their service. Ask that Goodlatte do so.
- Goodlatte: Staunton (540) 885-3861, Harrisonburg (540) 432-2391, Lynchburg (434) 845-8306, Roanoke (540) 857-2672, Washington DC 202-225-5431 and email form here.
- Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _______, and my zip code is ________. I’m contacting Representative ______________ to express my support of HR 2760. Goodlatte has said that he honours veterans, and if that is the case, then making sure that people who have served in our military are recognized as our veterans in their endeavor of immigrating is a truly basic way of honouring their service. Please favourably report this bill from committee and vote for it on the floor. Thank you.”
3. Today for this week’s push for a Town Hall, write in to one of our local newspapers to say why you feel that we need a town hall, shame Goodlatte for not holding a town hall, express your frustration that he won’t hold a town hall, or anything in that vein. A letter to the editor can be just a paragraph or two; in fact, it’s often easier for them to print something that is more concise. But the point is to keep calling Goodlatte out for a town hall, and public media is a good way to do so.