“We will unleash our activists in a way that I don’t think any secretary of education has ever experienced,” said Heidi Hess, a campaign manager for CREDO, a mobile phone company with a liberal activist arm. “If she holds field hearings, we will make sure we pack them with activists. If she travels for meetings or if she visits schools, we will confront her with protesters and have people lined up to ask her questions.”
Heidi Hess runs campaigns for CREDO, a mobile phone company with an activist arm that has been backing progressive causes for 30 years. When Trump’s Cabinet picks were announced, CREDO held a strategy meeting and chose a “top terrible” list of appointees, dubbed the #SwampySeven in reference to his vows to “drain the swamp.”
“If any of them vote for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, we’re going to mark them down as collaborators,” CREDO Political Director Murshed Zaheed said. “If Chuck Schumer wants to maintain any credibility as a progressive leader, he needs to shut the Supreme Court seat down. And if he doesn’t do it, there will be a massive revolt.”
CREDO Action, a progressive activist group, saw a petition it had launched against DeVos “explode” following the hearing, now with nearly 1.5m signatures. Signatories also went on to make more than 90,000 phone calls to senators in both parties.
“After the last 72 hours, they expect Democrats to vote against every single nominee and resist and obstruct every single one of his legislative initiatives,” said Murshed Zaheed, vice president and political director of CREDO Action.
Josh Nelson, the deputy political director of the CREDO activist group said the action would show Trump is “in the pocket of big corporations and foreign oil interests.” “Fierce grassroots activism has stopped these pipelines over and over again,” he said. “CREDO will do everything in its power to stop the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, and keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground where they belong.”
A handful of petitions have been gathering a mountain of signatures against her confirmation, including one by the social change organization CREDO, which has garnered more than 1 million — or, as of Friday night, 1,115,915 of its goal of 1,250,000.
The public defections of two dozen lawmakers is occurring alongside a petition effort to convince all Democrats to skip the ceremonies. More than 126,000 people have signed a petition organized by progressive social activism organization CREDO Action.
For the past three years, CREDO, represented by the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, has been fighting in court both the constitutionality of the FBI’s request and the bureau’s demand that CREDO stay silent. The fight over the legality of the request is ongoing, but earlier this year, the Federal District Court for Northern California said the FBI failed to show the need for the gag order. The government dropped its appeal of that decision, and CREDO subsequently published redacted versions of the two national security letters.