by Brian Washington
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Michigan educator Robert Gaines III speaks before local legislative bodies and with lawmakers on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, when Education Votes caught up with him one evening last week, he told us he would be addressing a crowd later that evening at a town hall event on education and parental involvement and had also carved out time during the congressional recess to discuss the impact of President Trump’s budget on students with U.S. Rep. John Conyers.
Gaines says he doesn’t get nervous when speaking to lawmakers on behalf of students. Instead, Gaines, a former athlete and high school football coach, says he gets excited—similar to the feeling he used get while participating as a player on his high school and college football and wrestling teams. Gaines says, when talking with lawmakers, it’s important for educators to tell their stories.
Be honest with them, be upfront, but more importantly, tell your story,” said Gaines. “Most of our lawmakers, especially those on education-related committees, don’t have an educational background. Your stories will help them understand how important what you’re advocating is to our students.
You can get more good information like this later today by joining a Facebook Live event on Education Votes’ Speak Up for Education and Kids page. It starts at 7 pm EST and, among other things, will cover how to push back on President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ anti-public schools agenda. You’ll also learn what to do and say when attending town halls and community forums federal lawmakers are expected to hold during the congressional recess.
The live event will give you the information you need to craft and deliver you own personal story about why our elected leaders need to join with students, parents, and educators and resist the Trump-DeVos plan to destroy public education.
“Everybody’s story is different,” said Gaines. “As an educator, in order to speak up for our students, you need to be able to explain to lawmakers what our students’ needs are and why helping them succeed is important to this nation’s future.”