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NEA Lobbyists Make a Difference for Students, Parents, and Educators Across the Nation.

 
On Capitol Hill and at statehouses across the country, NEA lobbyists are recognized as the nation’s single most effective voice for educators and students. On a wide variety of critical issues—from student achievement, pensions, and merit pay, to safe schools, vouchers, IDEA, and education funding—NEA lobbyists help to improve and protect our nation’s public school system.

The Affordable Care Act—legislation that overhauled the nation’s health care system in 2010, paving the way for more Americans to have health care coverage and putting in place new protections for those who were already insured—is just one example. Along with lobbyists representing health care providers, insurance corporations, and business groups, NEA members stood on the frontlines calling for passage of this vital measure.

 
“I had the privilege of being in Washington the night the House of Representatives first passed the Affordable Care Act,” says Scott DiMauro (pictured right), a high school social studies teacher from Columbus, Ohio, and chairperson of NEA’s Committee on Legislation. “I did do a lot of cyber lobbying that year in favor of the legislation.”

So did tens of thousands of other NEA members across the country who received advice and direction from the half dozen in-house lobbyists based at NEA headquarters and from those employed by almost every state Association.

“NEA lobbyists have the time and access to interact with members of Congress and their staffs on a day-to-day basis, while members are on the job working with students,” says DiMauro, an NEA Board of Directors member and central district president of the Ohio Education Association. “The lobbying team advocates on our behalf, following the policies set by delegates to our Representative Assembly.”

Without lobbyists, says DiMauro, “it would be very difficult to persuade lawmakers to vote for bills that serve the needs of public school educators and students. When NEA lobbyists speak, lawmakers listen.”

A member of the Worthington Education Association, DiMauro has been lobbying legislators locally and nationally since 2004. In 2010, he was one of thousands of NEA members who lobbied for the jobs bill that eventually became law, providing $10 billion to support an estimated 160,000 education jobs nationwide and another $16 billion to help states fund Medicaid budgets.

“NEA’s lobbying team was at the center of that fight, and they were successful because of the grassroots support we gave them,” he says. “Our work not only saved the jobs of many of our colleagues, it also enhanced learning opportunities for millions of children by maintaining reasonable class sizes and preserving vital programs.”


NEA in Action

Member-driven Grassroots Lobbying Comes to Washington

More than two dozen state Association leaders met with members of Congress on November 28 to lobby on behalf of students, parents, and educators. NEA is part of a coalition with AFSCME and SEIU who also brought in members from across the country to meet on what was called, National Labor Lobby Day. See four NEA leaders online and in action as they lobby legislators from their states:

Kerrie Dallman (Colorado)  

Meg Gruber (Virginia) 

Chris Guinther (Missouri)

Donna Morey, Arkansas


Want to become a public education lobbyist?

The simplest way, says DiMauro, is to visit NEA’s Legislative Action Center  where you can learn how easy it is to join more than 600,000 very active “cyber lobbyists.”

 

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Published In

January, 2013

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