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Meet the Top User of ATPE’s Advocacy Central

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 11/22/2021

When educators come together to speak with one voice, lawmakers listen. In these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever that educators continue to use that voice to advocate for themselves and their students. That’s why ATPE has created Advocacy Central, a powerful tool available exclusively to members.

Advocacy Central allows you to learn about and track pending bills and policies that will affect public education at both the state and federal level. It also lets you look up and contact your elected officials to share your thoughts with them directly.

Best of all, Advocacy Central takes the hard work out of contacting your officials. When you log in, you will see advocacy campaigns highlighted on the page. Each campaign allows you to read ATPE’s stance on the issue and send a message to the elected official (or officials) who will be voting on the bill or deciding the policy. If you aren’t sure what to say, don’t worry! Each campaign includes sample email messages, tweets, or phone scripts prepared by ATPE’s lobbyists. You can use the prewritten scripts or customize them by adding your own words.

During the November ATPE 2021 ATPE Board of Directors meeting, ATPE Governmental Relations Director Jennifer Mitchell announced that ATPE State Treasurer Jason Forbis of Midway (12) has sent the most messages through Advocacy Central since its inception (124 as of Nov. 15)! Mitchell presented Forbis with a celebratory Twix bar—and challenged other ATPE members to catch up with him.

Forbis says he has sent so many messages because of how simple Advocacy Central is to use.

“It is so easy and quick—I normally use Advocacy Central on my phone,” Forbis says. “It only takes a few seconds to send out a quick email or tweet. The scripts provided are great and easy to edit to make them more personal.”

In fact, you can log on today and use our latest campaign to help ATPE urge Congress to pass legislation that would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of many educators and other public education employees. Use the prompts to write your representatives in Congress and ask or thank them for their support of this bill, which would replace the WEP with a more equitable formula to increase retirement income for those educators who are subject to the offset.

“It is so important for educators to advocate for their profession and the students of Texas,” Forbis adds. “As teachers, we are on the front line of education. We see what is and isn’t working. We want the best for ourselves and the students we teach, and in order to have that we need to use our voices to create change.”