Grassroots Lesson 2


Objective: Call your State Representative and State Senator

If you completed Lesson 1, you now know the names and telephone numbers for your State Representative and Senator. Now you will call them. When you call, there is only a 1% chance that you will talk to your legislator. 99% of the time you will talk to one of their staff. That is fine because the staff will keep a record of the call. That is one of their main jobs.

Please be polite when talking to the legislator or staff. They usually tune out angry callers. They don’t mind talking about opposing views as long as the conversation is civil. The staff is not the decision-makers so they are not responsible for any decision the legislator makes, so please be polite.

A typical call would include these items.

1. My name is ____________________.

2. I live in Representative/Senator ______________________ ‘s district. (Since you can vote for/against the legislator, your opinion is more important.)

(At some point the staff will probably ask you for your zip code. This helps them verify that you do live in their district.)

3. I would like Representative/Senator _________________ to support more charter schools, school vouchers, tuition tax credits, and any other bills that increase school choice. (This is a general request.)

4. I would like Rep/Senator _________________ to vote in favor of House Bill 465 (or Senate Bill 308 if he is a Senator.) (This is a specific request.)

(Currently law doesn’t allow more than 215 charter-school “charters” in Texas. That cap has been reached and there are 17,000 kids on waiting lists to enroll in charter schools in Texas. House Bill 465 removes the cap of 215, so there can be as many charter schools as the families need. Senate Bill 308 is identical to HB 465. It just has a different number because it was filed in the Senate.)

5. Is Rep/Senator __________________________

__ in favor of HB 465/SB 308? (This puts the legislator on the spot to commit.)(The staff will probably say that their boss has not had time to study the bill and make a decision. You can ask that you be called when he does make a decision. We will tell you if and when HB 465/SB 308 will come to a vote, so that you can call again to ask for a decision from your legislator.)

6. You can also include a personal story of how school choice has affected you or a neighbor, but keep it brief and to the point.

7. Thank you, __________________ for your time.

Please send a message to me after you finish so that I can know who has completed this lesson.
Bob Schoolfield

P.S. – You can call again in one or two weeks and your opinion will be counted twice. They receive many calls and have different staff. The next person to answer the phone will have forgotten that you called earlier.

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