We were told to leave TX Sen John Cornyns office on January 24th.#SwampCabinet Rally held outside his building

John Cornyn’s Office would not allow us to meet today to discuss Trump’s Cabinet choices.

Today I gathered with a group of several hundred people outside the office of Texas Senator John Cornyn. This was a local event done by Move On called the “Stop Trump’s #SwampCabinet”! When we arrived at Cornyn’s office several members of the group went up to Senator Cornyn’s office and were told we would not be allowed to come up to speak with anyone and would have to schedule an appointment and come back later. The receptionist said we were free to leave any information we had as far as paperwork or literature but we could not meet with anyone today.

Because we were meeting outside the front of the building we could not stand up or lean against the building but had to stand far enough from the walls for people to get by close to the building. We also had to do the same from the edge of the sidewalk making us have to stretch out for about a city block. Because we did not have a microphone or bullhorn the leader of our group said we would do a “peoples microphone” where everyone in the group would repeat the speakers words so all those down the sidewalk would be able to hear each speaker.

I was the first asked to speak. I have not spoken publicly so please excuse me if I seem a little nervous in reading my speech asking that Betsy DeVos not be allowed to be our next Secretary of Education.

I graduated from high school in the Texas Public Education System and then went on to graduate with a BFA from North Texas State University in 1979. As I state at the beginning of my speech my husband was in the Texas Public Education System for 35 years before he retired as an Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Curriculum. He held that position the last 13 years of his career. Our daughter is a middle school teacher in Austin teaching 8th grade Language Arts. So, the majority of conversation when we get together are centered around education.

Today Senator Ted Cruz had constituents locked out of his office and would not allow anyone to enter, even to make an appointment to see him.

If only they had answered their phones, staffers in Senator Ted Cruz’s office would not have had to shut down the senator’s downtown Houston district office and rely upon the Houston Police Department to clear constituents from the building.

Constituents have been calling their senators daily to register their deep concerns and objections to various Trump appointees. Rarely, a caller gets through to a staffer; most of the the time, calls go to voicemail. Increasingly, the voicemail inboxes (in district offices and in the Washington office) have been full, unable to accept new messages.

Frustrated at being unable to reach their elected representative, 28 people met Tuesday morning to visit the senator’s district office a little after 9 am. Someone brought donuts for the staff.

Four constituents were allowed into the reception area, and two spoke to a staff member, who told them the senator would only meet with representatives of groups, and then, only with an appointment. Which had to be scheduled by phone. Building security approached those who had not been invited into the reception area and asked them to leave.The building manager came next, warning that the police would be called.

The important thing that must be chanted at future protests of Senator Cruz and called into his office, when you can get someone to answer, is to remind Cruz that he is up for re-election in 2018.

My hope is that, as rumored, Congressman Joaquin Castro of San Antonio runs against Cruz in 2018 and becomes our next Senator representing the state of Texas!

Move On TX Demonstration outside the office of Senator John Cornyn in Austin, Texas.