I started to write this just for my personal friends who wished me a happy birthday last week but it turned into much more. So please read this, share it, and most importantly CALL!
Thank you very much for your kind birthday wishes. I have a request in honor of my birthday. Please call your elected Representatives to demand Net Neutrality (details below). It will take a few minutes of your time, but it is incredibly important for the future of free speech in our country. Net Neutrality is the Civil Right of the 21st Century.
Net Neutrality is the idea that your internet service provider cannot slow down or prevent your access to specific sites and cannot charge you more to access specific sites. A cold hard example of this is that last night I listened to audio from inside the internment camp holding immigrant children held hostage by the Trump administration. Without Net Neutrality Comcast, or ATT, or any other ISP could choose to block my access to the ProPublica website or slow down the ProPublica traffic to the point where the audio won’t load or the webpage becomes unusable. Still not sure what Net Neutrality is or why it is important? John Oliver has your back (One, Two) Net Neutrality is currently dead due to a disastrous ruling by the GOP controlled FCC. There is still a chance to return the Internet to a place where everyone has equal access to information and equal rights, both at the federal level and locally in California.
The US Senate has already passed the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the FCC ruling. The next step is to get the US House of Representatives to also pass the CRA (House CRA). Unfortunately the GOP controlled House refuses to allow a vote on the proposal. In order to force a vote on the CRA the Discharge Petition needs to have 218 Representatives vote in favor, currently 172 have signed as of June 16th. I need you to call your representatives and tell them to sign the Discharge Petition if they haven’t already and tell them to vote yes on the CRA if they already signed. I have resources to contact your rep at the end.
The state of California also has its own Net Neutrality legislation that has passed the State Senate. It is Senate Bill 822 (SB 822) which already passed the Senate and needs your support to pass the House of Representatives. I need you to call your Representative to demand that they support SB 822 through its ratification and that they demand that it is passed un-amended as the ISPs are pushing hard to take the teeth out of the bill and weaken it. This is especially important if you live in one of the districts whose Assembly member is on the committee currently considering the bill as it is up for a vote on the 20th.
To push your Representative to sign the House Discharge Petition to force a vote on the Congressional Review Act go to https://www.battleforthenet.com/ they will let you email your Congressional Representative and then connect your phone to your Rep and give you a script.
If you want to look up your representative yourself you can go here: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative. If your rep has already signed here is a list of others you can call: https://www.battleforthenet.com/scoreboard/
If you live in California we also have Senate Bill 822 (SB 822) to push through the Assembly. Please call your Representative and demand that they push for SB 822 to be passed without amendments. Find your Rep here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
If you have more time call the Reps who are on the Committee currently holding the bill.
I am a member of CUE and they gave me permission to quote one of their member correspondences below. Their script is obviously for Educators and CUE members in specific but please modify it to suit your needs but definitely call!
It is especially important to call Chair Miguel Santiago as he is single-handedly trying to destroy the legislation due to ISP pressure.
From CUE, used with permission:
If net neutrality is important to you and your schools, we are asking that you call members of the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee, especially those who directly represent you, to ask that they support SB 822, by voting YES to pass the bill out of the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee on June 20th.
If you call, state the following:
- Ask for the staff person assigned to work with the Assembly member on SB 822. Introduce yourself and mention your role in education, your school/district, and location.
- Mention that you represent a Statewide non-profit educational organization known as Computer Using Educators (CUE) which has over 19,000 members consisting of k-12 classroom teachers and school administrators.
- Mention the fact that over 50% of homework assignments involve the need for students to have affordable Internet access at their homes.
- Net neutrality helps to ensure that school districts and homes will not have Internet service slowed down and/or rates increased due to lack of regulations that ensure net neutrality.
- Ask the Assembly member to support SB 822, by voting yes to pass the bill out of the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee on June 20th.
- If time permits, you may want to ask the staff person if they have any questions and/or concerns about the bill.
Prioritize your call according to those who represent the State Assembly District you live in first, and then move on to the others. If you call any legislators, please let us know who you called and any relevant feedback you received.
Contact John Cradler, CUE Legislative Consultant at email@example.com or phone 650-218-7046 for questions and feedback.
Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee Members
Ask for the staff person working on SB 822 but if that staff person isn’t available, ask for anyone else who can take the message and communicate to the Assembly member that CUE supports SB 822.
Miguel Santiago (Chair), Dem-53: (916) 319-2053
Jay Obernolte (Vice Chair), Rep-33: (916) 319-2033
Rob Bonta, Dem-18: (916) 319-2018
Sabrina Cervantes, Dem-60: (916) 319-2060
Eduardo Garcia, Dem-56: (916) 319-2056
Chris R. Holden, Dem-41: (916) 319-2041
Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Dem-54: (916) 319-2054
Evan Low, Dem-28: (916) 319-2028
Brian Maienschein, Rep-77: (916) 319-2077
Devon J. Mathis, Rep-26: (916) 319-2026
Jim Patterson, Rep-23: (916) 319-2023
Sharon Quirk-Silva, Dem-65: (916) 319-2065
Freddie Rodriguez, Dem-52: (916) 319-2052