For many of us, Nov. 7 was the last time we felt any semblance of hope for the political state of this country.
After a venomous presidential campaign season, reality star and businessman Donald Trump acquired the presidency and since then, tomfoolery has ensued. In office for only two weeks, he’s already signed a number of questionable executive orders and nominated problematic Federal Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
One of the more controversial events occurring are the appointments to his cabinet––most notably Betsy DeVos for secretary of education and Sen. Jefferson Sessions for attorney general. DeVos, who believes guns should be allowed in schools for protection against “grizzly bears,” has been a longtime supporter of charter schools.
“To have someone over public education that is not committed to the education of everybody is something that we can’t tolerate,” Rev. Al Sharpton told ESSENCE in an exclusive interview. “Nine out of every ten of our children are going to end up in public schools—that she’s going to take the resources out of to fund charter schools.”
Sessions, a junior senator from Alabama, has a career history of voting against civil rights policy and was deemed too racist to be a federal judge in 1986.
These nominations in Congress have many feeling virtually powerless. But trust, there’s always something we as the constituency can do.
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“The good news is that we can fight if we have a strategy,” Sharpton said. “Let’s say for example Sessions is confirmed, he’s sworn in. You’re already in February. A lot of people don’t realize we’re just ten months away from all of them having to deal with reelection. If we use the clock and not just have emotions, we can win.”
In addition to getting family, friends and those in our community registered to vote, pressure needs to be put on our representatives to stall the process of passing bills.
Sharpton adds, “What you have to do with Sessions is tie every bill he has up in the legislature. Force the Democrats to filibuster and stall, like they did on many of President Obama’s laws. The Democrats can stand and stall anything he proposes for ten months.”
And most importantly, be abreast of what’s going on in local politics. Stay in the loop with apps like Countable for weekly reminders about legislation and voting.