Voter Sends Pizza To Senator Asking Him To Vote "No" On Betsy DeVos When She Couldn't Reach Him By Phone
In a modern day American twist on the Trojan horse, a woman in Utah sent her senator a pizza to deliver a message against the appointment of Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education after he stopped taking constituents' calls. In a screenshot from the order posted to Twitter on January 30, Julia Silge, a constituent of Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, shared a message that is so iconic it should be used as protest examples in students' history textbooks: "From a Salt Lake constituent in 84105: Please vote NO on Betsy DeVos. She is an inappropriate choice to lead our public schools." From there, she live-tweeted the pizza's journey, as a very game delivery person attempted to deliver it to the senator's office. (Bustle has reached out to Silge for comment, and will update upon response.)
For anyone else who has been phone banking throughout Trump's presidency in the efforts to reach their representatives, this is nothing short of a genius way to get around the full voicemail message boxes and the e-mail contact pages that miraculously only appear when you put in all nine digits of your zip code. And with a lot of us doubling up on our efforts to block DeVos' appointment, this heroic move could not have come at a better time. So did the pizza note work?
Well — no, but yes.
My senator's local office is not answering his phone, and his voicemail seems to be full. pic.twitter.com/WGbvAYlSw0— Julia Silge (@juliasilge) January 30, 2017
The pizza DID technically make it to Hatch's office, thanks to a very nice delivery person on Grubhub.
I just got a phone call from the delivery person asking me where in the federal office building to go; she is actually delivering it!— Julia Silge (@juliasilge) January 30, 2017
I sent a $10 tip with this, in the hopes of it actually happening.— Julia Silge (@juliasilge) January 30, 2017
However, this is when the fate of the ham and pineapple pizza — chosen because it is a "divisive, controversial choice, much like Betsy DeVos," Silge told The Salt Lake Tribune — turns a little bleak.
I am sad to report that my senator's office refused delivery of the pizza. 😞🍕— Julia Silge (@juliasilge) January 30, 2017
AN UPDATE: I later received a call from security at the SLC federal office building, so maybe think twice about this approach. pic.twitter.com/nJ8cCDX1sl— Julia Silge (@juliasilge) January 31, 2017
Um, YIKES. (But also, quality meme-age.)
The federal security person was pretty chill with me, and he did literally say, "I have gotten a call about a suspicious pizza."— Julia Silge (@juliasilge) January 31, 2017
While it is unfortunate that our hero the pizza did not make it to its final destination, its purpose has been served — because now that the pizza story has gone viral, it's bringing that much more necessary attention to the potential appointment of Betsy DeVos, whose confirmation vote could come as early as today. And as a mother of three children in the public education system, the issue is quite personal to Silge; it is no wonder that she and thousands of other Americans are flooding the phone lines in this pivotal moment.
While Senator Hatch has spoken in support of DeVos in the past, his office did, at least, acknowledge the existence of the pizza, so it's safe to assume that they understood the message it was supposed to bring.
"We appreciate all creative efforts to reach Senator Hatch, particularly as we deal with a large volume of out-of-state callers that are preventing Utah constituents from reaching us. Unfortunately, the pizza did not make it through security screening because the office had not ordered it. As a result, we did not see the message attached to the pizza," said a statement from Hatch's offices.
Welp — we're 5,500+ retweets deep, so hopefully they've seen it now!