June 2, 2017

Urgent: Anti-ESA Lawmakers using your children as political pawns

“Payback is a…”

Friends, those are not my words.  Rather, those words represent the cold reality of what your child’s education and future really boils down to in the minds of the majority in this legislative session.

Those are the words of a key lawmaker opposed to ESAs.

“SB506 should be passed as written,” the parent wrote to one of the Democrat ESA work-team members. “Please understand that the watered down version is a step backwards and not a step forwards. Please show the voters of Nevada that you believe children are more important than politics.  Be their hero and their voice.”

“ESA’s are dead,” came the reply.

Nothing more, just those three words.

Quoting from the Review-Journal, the parent simply responded, “To politicize it further, Ford brought the Senate back into session without Republicans present and proceeded to pass the education budget. One insider told me that maneuver went far beyond typical end-of-session posturing and showed Democrats had made it about politics, not policy.”

“Sad,” was the subject line added by the parent.

“Payback is a bitch,” the lawmaker curtly responded.

Quite frankly, I couldn’t have demonstrated this reality any clearer — your children are nothing more than political pawns, stuck in a game of partisan politics and political jockeying.

But, make no mistake, you are the game changer!

Politicians are used to working in a vacuum, wheeling-and-dealing behind closed doors.  In years past, it’s been a simple matter of unions busing in parents and kids, having them beg for more money. Or, having thousands of school children decorate valentines to lawmakers during art class to ask for more money.

But, not anymore. Today, it’s about Parent Power!

Parents get in their own cars. Parents have their own messages. Parents are breaking down those closed doors.

Believe me, the legislative temper tantrums you are witnessing are because of you!

There is no greater or more determined advocate for children than parents fighting like mother bears, protecting their cubs.

Friends, four days are left in this legislative session.  One. Two. Three. Four. It is critical you remain vigilant and complete this fight.  It’s not easy, I know.  But, you must hang in there!

Hold lawmakers accountable for their actions — or inaction.

Over the next four days, you can show up and testify at every Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committee meeting. Every education committee meeting. Public Comment is always open. You can talk about whatever is on your mind — even let lawmakers know your child is not their pawn.  Heck, if you’re inclined, you can give them a good ol’ parent “shame on you.”

In fact, the Assembly Ways and Means committee meets today at 9 a.m. to discuss the K-12 budget passed by the Senate yesterday — without opportunity for you to be included.

Show up anyway. Testify and make lawmakers hear you. Tell them that ESA is about the future of our children.  You can testify at the Legislative building in Carson City or the Grant Sawyer building in Las Vegas. (Room 3137 of the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City, or Video-conferenced to Room 4401 of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas.)

Every child. Each child. Your child!

Remind them, ESA is about educational opportunity — not special interests or their political games and payoffs.

Friends, you can change the game!  You must change the game.

It’s up to you to light up their phone lines.  By that, I mean call, call, call!

It’s up to you to leave your opinion about SB506 on the legislature’s opinion page.

Only you can send in your testimony to the Senate Finance Committee and Assembly Ways and Means.

If you’re on it, be a “flitter on Twitter”!

I’ve seen a lot of parent conversation on social media. It is passionate. It is raw. It is real!

Use your parent Power and cut and paste those posts to lawmakers’ Facebook pages. Cut and paste your comments to Twitter and tag lawmakers. Don’t forget, use #nvleg on all social media.

Fill up those email boxes. Every lawmaker. Each lawmaker. Your lawmaker.

Not only should you contact the committee members, be sure to contact your own representatives and let them know how you feel. Remind them you are an engaged citizen and a constituent. To find out who your representatives are, input your address in this link.

Use this link to email Governor Sandoval and let him know you support SB506, his bill.

Use the list below to reach out directly to legislative leadership and finance committee members.

Members of the Senate Finance committee can be reached here:

And the Assembly Ways and Means committee members can be reached here:

Other leadership officers can be reached here:

Senate —

Kelvin Atkinson — Assn. Majority Leader

Pat Spearman  — Co-Majority Whip

Scott Hammond — Co-Minority Whip

Heidi Gansert — Caucus Policy Coordinator



Tyrone Thompson — Chief Deputy Majority Whip

Jim Wheeler — Deputy Minority Floor Leader

Melissa Woodbury — Minority Whip


Friends, there’s only four days left.

Four days when all legislative rules are out the window. Four days to tear down those closed doors. Four days to hold lawmakers accountable.  Four days to fight for your children.

Four days of Parent Power!