Fight for the Future


PHOTOS: Thousands of small businesses call on Congress to pass CRA to restore net neutrality with billboards, newspaper ads, open letter deliveries

Posted 11:23 EDT on May 1, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 2, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

It’s national Small Business Week, and nearly 6,000 small businesses, ranging from construction companies to tech startups have signed on to an open letter to Congress calling on lawmakers to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to block the FCC’s repeal. Small business owners hosted delivery events at congressional offices across the country,

Net neutrality supporters also crowdfunded to put up billboards in key states like Colorado, Louisiana, and Ohio as well as full page newspaper ads in Alaska and Maine highlighting the concerns of the thousands of small business owners signing the open letter.

See NEW PHOTOS of the delivery events, billboards, and newspaper ads here, these are available for use by press: https://imgur.com/a/GdlRLKF

To date, nearly 6,000 businesses have signed the letter, including veterinary offices, graphic design shops, restaurants, medical startups, music venues, attorneys, tutoring services, chiropractors, engineering firms, and an amusement park machine supplier. Businesses are being listed publicly on the letter in a rolling fashion as they are verified.

The nationwide push is supported by a range of groups representing startups and small businesses including the American Sustainable Business Council, Etsy, Patreon, Engine Advocacy, Main Street Alliance, Good Business Colorado, and Small Business Majority, along with groups like Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Color of Change.

A staffer for Senator Susan Collins accepts the letter from business owners who came to thank her for supporting the CRA. 

Ryan Rabac of the American Sustainable Business Council said, “Recent data shows a majority of small businesses oppose the repeal of net neutrality. They fear a potentially devastating impact on innovation, fair competition, and access to customers. Instead, we must restore protections for millions of businesses and consumers. ASBC and its national network of businesses stand with these members of Congress working to protect all businesses by restoring net neutrality.”

“The loss of net neutrality will hurt all small businesses, not just high tech ones like those I work with,” said Chris Reade President and CEO of Lookfar in New Orleans, LA, “Without these basic protections, businesses that put food on the table for hard working Americans won’t be able to compete with big corporate giants.”

“My small business has been able to grow in part because of net neutrality. Strong rules have ensured people can find me and shop my online store,” said Mickki Langston, owner of Tellicherry Trading Company, maker of skincare products in Denver, CO. “Small businesses like mine will be hit the hardest if Internet service providers decide to charge us new fees to reach customers. Everyone in Washington says they support small businesses. I want them to show us that they support small businesses by supporting the CRA.”

“Our small Alaska-based technology business depends on affordable access to an open, neutral Internet to deliver training, software updates and data to customers around the state,“ said Julie Olsen, President of OfficeTECH, Inc. in Anchorage, AK. “We need lawmakers to just say “NO” to deep pocketed ISPs plans for fast lanes online and, instead, vote to protect Alaskan businesses and their employees by supporting the CRA resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal and put strong net neutrality protections back in place.

“When senators vote on the resolution to restore net neutrality this month, they’ll face a stark choice. They can use their power to back the ability of monopolistic telecoms to block and slow traffic online for their own profit, in a manner that will strangle small businesses. Or they can stand with Main Street and the small companies that are the lifeblood of their communities.” said David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress. “Net neutrality is about free expression – but it’s also about people’s bottom lines, their jobs, and their abilities to provide for their families. Without an open internet that allows them to compete and to reach customers online, small businesses will fold. Any senator who votes against the net neutrality CRA resolution is voting against the small businesses in their communities.”

“Almost everyone who works at Fight for the Future has run a small business at one time in our lives, and we’ve connected with thousands of them through the massive online protests we’ve organized,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, “without net neutrality, the largest companies will become even more dominant, while family-owned businesses, innovative startups, small shops, and freelancers will be squeezed out. It’s a tax on the entire economy for the benefit of a few giant telecom companies.”

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Red Alert for Net Neutrality:

Posted 09:02 EDT on April 30, 2018
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 30, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, press@fightforthefuture.org, 978-852-6457

Internet activists and major web companies plan mass action from May 9th when CRA is discharged until imminent Senate vote

Internet activists, major web companies, online forums, and small businesses are preparing to “go red” as part of a Red Alert for Net Neutrality campaign to drive constituent calls and emails to lawmakers ahead of an imminent Senate vote to overrule the FCC’s overwhelmingly unpopular repeal of net neutrality. The online push will begin on May 9th when the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution will be officially discharged, and will carry through until the vote.

See the announcement here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/redalert

The protest was just announced, but already Reddit, Etsy, Tumblr, Postmates, Foursquare, Twilio, BoingBoing, Private Internet Access, Imgur, Fark, and Gandi.net have said they plan to participate. Thousands of other large and small websites are expected to join. Behind the push are Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and Free Press Action Fund, the groups that run BattleForTheNet.com and have been responsible for the largest online protests in history. They’ve helped drive millions of phone calls, emails, and tweets to lawmakers in recent years.

The CRA lets just 30 senators force a vote to overturn a recently-issued federal agency rule. On May 9th, senators will present a petition to force a vote on a resolution that would undo the FCC’s net neutrality rollback. If the resolution passes into law, it will restore the strong net neutrality protections that were put in place in 2015. All 49 members of the Democratic Caucus, as well as Republican Susan Collins, have announced their support for the effort – meaning that, at most, just one more vote is needed to ensure passage in the Senate, at which point Internet activists plan to take the fight to the House.

“This senate vote will be the most important moment for net neutrality since the FCC repeal. Now is the time to fight,” said Evan Greer, Deputy Director of Fight for the Future, “Every Internet user, every startup, every small business –– the Internet must come together to sound the alarm and save net neutrality.”

“We will finally force lawmakers to let us know if they stand with the 85% of Americans who support net neutrality – or with the cable companies that want to manipulate the internet in service of greater profits,” said David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress. “The people are on our side – and if they make their voices heard over coming weeks, we will push this resolution through the Senate and House.”

“Congress has the chance to rewind a terrible Trump administration policy decision, and one of its least popular, too,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press Action Fund. “Net Neutrality is overwhelmingly supported by people across the political spectrum: Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike. The FCC’s disastrous vote late last year led to a historic outcry Congress must not ignore. There’s only one way to stand up for real Net Neutrality — and to stand on the right side of history — and that’s by voting for the resolution of disapproval to restore these essential safeguards. The public will be closely watching who’s looking out for them and who’s only serving phone and cable lobbyists.”

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California net neutrality bill sails through Judiciary hearing

Posted 15:46 EDT on April 25, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 17, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

ISPs attempted to kill the bill or water it down in committee, but Internet users organized and flooded Senators with calls. SB 822 is expected to get a Senate vote at the end of May

Net neutrality supporters secured another victory today in California as the most comprehensive state net neutrality bill in the country cleared another hurdle toward passage. The Senate Judiciary Committee moved to advance SB 822 with minor changes, despite pressure from telecom lobbyists to water down the bill with loopholes for ISPs.

SB 822 has received massive support from grassroots organizations, small businesses, and more than 50,000 California residents, will now move to a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee this Tuesday.

“Internet users in California and around the country are outraged by the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality, and that’s why SB822 is moving full steam ahead” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, “the public is paying attention to the details. They know this is the best bill to restore net neutrality, and that all of its provisions, especially the language on harmful zero rating scams, are critical. The California senate should pass this bill as soon as it comes to a vote.”

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UPDATE: Small businesses plan massive push for net neutrality ahead of Senate CRA vote

Posted 11:27 EDT on April 24, 2018
image

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 24, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

Thousands of small businesses will deliver an open letter to Congressional offices across the country on May 2nd during national Small Business Week calling on lawmakers to pass the CRA to restore net neutrality

With a new poll showing the majority of small business owners are concerned about the repeal of net neutrality, thousands of small businesses, ranging from construction companies to tech startups are planning to deliver an open letter to Congress on Wednesday, May 2nd calling on lawmakers to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to block the FCC’s repeal. Small business owners will host delivery events at congressional offices across the country, where they will deliver the letter and complete list of signers, and host a short press conference about the impact of losing net neutrality on small businesses.

See the letter here: https://www.businessesfornetneutrality.com

To date, nearly 6,000 businesses have signed the letter, including veterinary offices, graphic design shops, restaurants, medical startups, music venues, attorneys, tutoring services, chiropractors, engineering firms, and an amusement park machine supplier. Businesses are being listed publicly on the letter in a rolling fashion as they are verified, and dozens of delivery events are already listed on a map.

The nationwide deliveries are supported by a range of groups representing startups and small businesses including the American Sustainable Business Council, Etsy, Patreon, Engine Advocacy, Main Street Alliance, Good Business Colorado, and Small Business Majority, along with digital rights nonprofit Fight for the Future.

“The loss of net neutrality will hurt all small businesses, not just high tech ones like those I work with,” said Chris Reade President and CEO of Lookfar in New Orleans, LA,  “Without these basic protections, businesses that put food on the table for hard working Americans won’t be able to compete with big corporate giants.”

“My small business has been able to grow in part because of net neutrality. Strong rules have ensured people can find me and shop my online store,” said Mickki Langston, owner of Tellicherry Trading Company, maker of skincare products in Denver, CO. “Small businesses like mine will be hit the hardest if Internet service providers decide to charge us new fees to reach customers. Everyone in Washington says they support small businesses. I want them to show us that they support small businesses by supporting the CRA.”

“Our small Alaska-based technology business depends on affordable access to an open, neutral Internet to deliver training, software updates and data to customers around the state,“ said Julie Olsen, President of OfficeTECH, Inc. in Anchorage, AK. "We need lawmakers to just say “NO” to deep pocketed ISPs plans for fast lanes online and, instead, vote to protect Alaskan businesses and their employees by supporting the CRA resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal and put strong net neutrality protections back in place.

“Almost everyone who works at Fight for the Future has run a small business at one time in our lives, and we’ve connected with thousands of them through the massive online protests we’ve organized,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, who helped coordinate the letter, “without net neutrality, the largest companies will become even more dominant, while family owned businesses, innovative startups, small shops, and freelancers will be squeezed out. It’s a tax on the entire economy for the benefit of a few giant telecom companies.”

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BREAKING: victory for net neutrality as California bill to restore Open Internet protections advances

Posted 17:18 EDT on April 17, 2018
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 17, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

ISPs attempted to kill the bill or water it down in committee, but Internet users organized and flooded Senators with calls. SB 822 now heads to Judiciary Committee next week

Net neutrality supporters secured a victory today in California as the most comprehensive state net neutrality bill in the country cleared a major hurdle toward passage. The Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee moved to advance SB 822 with minor changes, rejecting a slew of amendments backed by telecom lobbyists that would have gutted the intent of the bill and created loopholes for ISP scams and abuses.

The vote is not yet final, as two members were absent, but one was an original co-author of the bill, guaranteeing it has the support it needs to pass the committee. SB 822, which has received massive support from grassroots organizations, small businesses, and more than 50,000 California residents, will now move to a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee this Tuesday.

“Net neutrality is more popular than ever before. People are outraged that the FCC took it away, and they’re fighting to get it back, and now it’s clear that California will be leading the way with the most comprehensive net neutrality bill in the country” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, “ISPs did everything in their power to try to stop this bill, but even their army of lobbyists was no match for California residents who used the Internet to mobilize. Monopolistic ISPs will undoubtedly continue their crusade to weaken or kill the bill, but Internet users will fight them every step of the way. US Congress should also take note, and pass the CRA resolution to restore strong net neutrality protections for all.”

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