Polls show that net neutrality will be a deciding issue for voters. Open Internet advocates want all candidates to go on the record about where they stand ahead of election day
Digital rights group Fight for the Future is working with local organizers to plan a series of telephone town halls in two dozen key districts across the country where voters can hear directly from candidates about where they stand on the FCC’s disastrous and unpopular repeal of net neutrality. The forums, which will take place via phone in 24 districts, will be co-sponsored by local organizations and small businesses. Hundreds of constituents are expected to RSVP for the events, and all candidates in each district have been invited. The forums will also enable constituents of sitting House members to call on their representatives to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to restore net neutrality.
See a list of planned net neutrality town halls here: https://www.votefornetneutrality.com/#join
"Net neutrality is a crucial issue for Texas and clearly one of the most talked about issues of this election cycle. Voters deserve to know where the candidates stand on preserving the free and open Internet," said Jerri Glover of TX-13, who is helping organize the town hall in her district along with Amarillo Tech Meetup and other local groups.
Anthony Damore, a resident of FL-18 who will be participating on the town hall, hosted with Palm Beach Tech and other groups, said, "I plan to attend the Tele-town hall and make sure Congressman Mast knows why supporting Net Neutrality means supporting an Internet that prioritizes people over corporate interest, that videos and music aren’t subject to fast lanes and slow lanes ensuring only those with money get heard. Without Net Neutrality smaller companies would be helpless trying to keep their businesses afloat and turn a profit. Net Neutrality ensures we all have a voice!"
The town halls come as part of a larger Vote for Net Neutrality campaign to educate as many Internet users as possible about where current members of Congress stand on net neutrality. The groups behind the campaign plan to reach people in key districts with information about where the candidates stand, and mobilize them to pressure legislators to declare support for the CRA ahead of election day. Other activities include:
* Online actions promoting the VoteForNetNeutrality.com scorecard
* Candidate position alerts to the group’s combined 5 million+ supporters.
* Mass text messages to activate and inform net neutrality supporters across the country.
* Mobilizing websites, online communities, and social media users to pressure Congress to do the right thing ahead of election day
The announcement comes on the heels of a new study from Stanford University which found that nearly 100% of unique comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year opposed the agency’s proposal to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, which established strong rules preventing blocking, throttling, and paid fast lanes for Internet content.
In May the Senate passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal in a historic bipartisan vote of 52-47. All that’s needed now is for a simple majority of 218 representatives in the House to sign a discharge petition and bring the CRA to a vote. Currently 177 members, including Republican Rep. Mike Coffman, have signed. Constituents are pressing lawmakers to join the ranks of representatives choosing their constituents over Big Cable by signing the discharge petition.
Activists will direct Internet users to VoteForNetNeutrality.com to pressure lawmakers facing tight races to sign CRA discharge petition or face the consequences on election day.