Are you an Education Voter?
It’s that time of year. The political parties are starting to gear up for the 2018 election. My phone is starting to ring because candidates are doing their personal outreach to raise funds for their upcoming campaigns. I recently got a call from a congressional candidate in New Mexico who sounded great on the phone. However, I didn’t know much about her so I told her that I needed to do my homework before I made a financial commitment to her campaign.
Bertis Downs, a parent and education advocate from Georgia, recently sent along this very apt response to the personal campaign outreach calls and emails. He emailed me this about the oncoming fundraising push by candidates:
I have been burned so often by politicians that I am cautious and don’t like wasting time on most campaigns . . . . anyway, today I have heard of a special election in western PA that a D has a decent chance of winning (http://bit.ly/2ldLNAa)(no mention of any issue on his website (http://bit.ly/2CeJ1Fu) and a call from a North Country NY D hoping to win a swing district with an okay statement about education as one of her main issues on her website (http://bit.ly/2CcnZqL).
Before I call her back, I decided to text her this:
I don’t see any issues on your website — i e what do you stand for? Especially on the issue I most care about— Education, Public Education, i.e. good schools for all kids . . . not just good for some and not-so-good for many. Equity issues, funding issues, so-called “choice” issues.
I am an active public school parent/advocate and on the boards of People For the American Way and the Network for Public Education— here is NPE’s statement of positive agenda: http://bit.ly/2pPNHrh Is that statement something that you agree with and would vote for and fight against efforts to weaken?
I am very wary of Democrats (sadly) and Republicans (of course) who have systematically undermined and damaged our nation’s singular achievement of universal public education for all children. DFER (Democrats for Education Reform) and their ilk make people like me not want to donate to any politician— so before before I consider financially supporting you in your noble effort to beat a bad Republican, I need to know where you stand and what you will fight for, especially on privatization and choice issues in our communities’ schools.
or a more condensed version…
I am glad Education is among your issues on your website although I am not 100% convinced on your positions on funding and choice, i.e. privatization. I am an active public school parent and on the boards of People For the American Way and the Network for Public Education— here is NPE’s statement of positive agenda: http://bit.ly/2pPNHrh Is that something that you agree with and would vote for? I am very wary of Democrats (sadly) and Republicans (of course) who have harmed our nation’s singular institution of public education. DFER and their ilk make people like me not want to donate to any politician— so before we spend time talking by phone and I consider supporting you, I need to know where you stand and what you will fight for.
Respectfully, Bertis Downs
Feel free to cut, paste and adapt these responses as the communication comes in…. we need to be education voters and express that to candidates.
Happy New Year and on to 2018
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“DFER and their ilk make people like me not want to donate to any politician—so before we spend time talking by phone and I consider supporting you, I need to know where you stand and what you will fight for…” May any upcoming election cycle bring MANY citizens out to question their candidates with this very concern.