Hello ESA friends

Karen Gray

I know you’ve recently received a lot of emails from me in a short period of time. Since the Supreme Court ruling, ESA has been very much a moving issue and I want to keep you as up-to-date as possible, and, hopefully inspire you as much as you have inspired me. So, please bear with me through this time.  

First, I just want to say, the recent outpouring from parents and community members for ESA has been absolutely awe-inspiring. Not just to me, but to those very folks you are trying to reach. Yesterday, I was speaking with one lawmaker who expressed heartfelt admiration for how respectful the letters and calls have been. Even letters expressing frustration and anger conveyed support, giving legislators the strength and drive to keep fighting. And, we’ve all needed some of that along the way.

I’m also told that the individualized stories of the children are beginning to resonate with lawmakers as real lives and futures, rather than mere statistics. That kind of impact is what really moves the needle.

As I told you last week, possible solutions to ESA funding exist. I’ve been told at least one solution is ready to go. However — there’s always a “but” — that solution will take a legislative act to implement. And, as we all know, that means Governor Sandoval must convene another special session and place ESAs on the agenda. Then, the legislature, of course, will have to approve any bill or bills.

I know, I know, it seems rather simple: Governor Sandoval can just call another special session and get this thing done. But, let’s be realistic, it’s never that simple. The Governor has many considerations he must weigh when making a decision. And, yes, that includes the political environment.

Make no mistake, friends: ESA is still a highly charged issue. Some witnessed fireworks during the recent special session — and we’ve all lived through it, given the lawsuits and the continuing organized campaigns to cripple the program. Senate Bill 302’s own legislative history demonstrates clearly the divide on the issue.

But, notwithstanding the divide, there still remains one overarching factor that all elected officials are cognizant of — the constituency.

Our government is built on the premise of “we the people.” And believe me, “you the people,” are having your voices heard. They’re now a living presence in this state. Lawmakers and others in Carson City are being inspired by your words and your stories. Your voices continue to be part of their conversation. I know I may sound repetitive, but I truly believe in our government system and the power of the people — the power of phone calls, emails, tweets and Facebook posts.

Governor Sandoval and all the elected in Carson City continue to listen to you. The very consistency of the public’s attention to this issue, I’m told, has made an immense impact. One just never knows when — or with whom — one’s heartfelt communications will push something as important as this over the hump and turn it into concrete reality.

You can share, or continue to share your thoughts with Governor Sandoval, by email at http://gov.nv.gov/Contact/Email-the-Governor/, by phone at 775-684-5670 or 702-486-2500. Governor Sandoval can also be reached on  Facebook and Twitter at @GovSandoval.

You may also want to contact the legislative leadership and let them know your thoughts.

Just last evening, in fact, a parent told me of a phone call she’d received back from Senator Roberson, the State Senate majority leader, that very day. Honestly, they really do want to hear your voices.

NevadaESA.com has posted the emails and social media contacts for Nevada lawmakers here. You can also find a directory and phone number for state Senators here and the Assembly Members here. Don’t forget to use the social media hashtags, #LetOurChildrenSucceed and #NVleg — and be sure to amplify each other’s voices by retweeting and sharing everyone’s Facebook posts.

Thank you for your inspiration. I continue to have faith.