To: Sen. Rick Scott (FL-2)
Can We Talk, Senator Rubio? Please hold town hall meetings during the upcoming recess.
We, the unpaid organizers and unpaid participants in events and other calls to action, ask that you not attack and spread false information about regular citizens choosing to actively participate in democracy.
We also respectfully request a town hall meeting to give the opportunity for concerned citizens of all party affiliations to better understand and clarify your positions and how you intend to represent the diverse people of the state of Florida.
Why is this important?
On January 31, 2017 citizens participated in rallies and meetings at several of Sen. Rubio's local Florida offices, organized in part using tools provided by MoveOn.org. That day a spokesperson from Rubio's office made this statement to the Miami Herald:
"The leftwing [sic] extremists at Move.On org and their paid protestors are entitled to express their opinions, and like all presidents, Trump is entitled to nominate his cabinet."
I am not a left-wing extremist, nor am I paid for these efforts. I'm just a mom engaged in democracy, which I have been my whole life. This is my first experience being directly attacked by a politician (via his spokesperson), and I am especially concerned since the statement is 100% false.
I have been reaching out to Senator Rubio's offices for the better part of a month to find out about his specific positions on healthcare reform and education, issues that directly impact my children. In addition to policy questions, I asked when Senator Rubio would be available for meeting with citizens (individually or in town hall settings).
Although I was told a policy staffer and scheduling staffer would contact me, it did not happen. When it became clear that my singular voice would not be heard, I helped organize rallies at one of his local offices two consecutive Tuesdays.
It is not acceptable to use "alternative facts" to attack the reputation of regular citizens. American democracy demands participation, not simply voting every few years and walking away. Voicing questions and concerns to our elected representatives is a crucial part of democracy and to label it "extremism" undermines core American values. Spreading false information about citizens in an effort to pit one "side" against the other and intentionally manipulate public perception is called scapegoating. This is not leadership. This is divisiveness and it is weakening our great country.