Over 50 Racial Justice Groups Ask House Tri-Caucus To Preserve Net Neutrality

Civil rights groups deliver letter to members of the Congressional Hispanic, Black and Asian Pacific Caucus, urging them to lead the battle for a free and open internet
Contact Info: 

Imran Siddiquee, imran@mediajustice.org

Washington, DC —  The Voices for Internet Freedom Coalition will deliver a letter today to the leaders of the Congressional Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific, and Native American Caucuses asking them to expand their support for the Congressional Review Act (CRA) -- passed by the Senate on Wednesday -- which would overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to eliminate net neutrality rules. The letter is endorsed by 56 racial justice organizations including the Black Lives Matter Global Network, United We Dream, and MPower Change.

Steven Renderos, organizing director at the Center for Media Justice, which helps lead the Voices Coalition, added “FCC Chairperson Ajit Pai’s decision to kill net neutrality is a reflection of the Trump Administration’s policies towards people of color, poor people, and those most vulnerable in our society. Like physical borders, repealing Net Neutrality builds the physical walls that isolate marginalized communities at the expense of a few corporations. We’re encouraged by the vote in the Senate this week, but in order to preserve Net Neutrality we need every member of the Tri-Caucus in the House to stand with communities of color and publicly support the Congressional Review Act.”

Over 50% of the current supporters of the CRA in Congress are members of the Tri-Caucus, and the leaders of these various groups have all given their support - with the exception of Rep. Ted Lieu. Additionally, leading 21st century civil rights voices, including Color of Change and 18 Million Rising also support a restoration of Title II Net Neutrality.

"We hope that members of Congress, like us, are cheered by this week’s victory in the Senate for Net Neutrality. This is a critical moment for the House to take up the torch and reinstate these protections,” said Cayden Mak, executive director of 18MillionRising.org. “Ensuring that the internet is an open, neutral platform is vital to our communities, whether we use the web to power small businesses sustaining generations of immigrant families; exercise the right to protest, assemble, and speak truth to power; or maintain contact with our loved ones around the world. We’re calling on the Tri-Caucus to make good on their promise to serve communities of color and stop the corporate looting of infrastructure key to ensuring democracy and justice today."

Even so, a handful of Tri-Caucus members have yet to sign the CRA, which is sponsored by Rep. Mike Doyle. In the wake of Wednesday’s Senate vote, today’s letter urges these remaining members to join the battle to make sure vulnerable communities have the right to speak and be heard in a digital age.

Carmen Scurato, vice president, policy & general counsel at the National Hispanic Media Coalition emphasized this point, “The Senate has taken a momentous step to ensure that Latinos, other communities of color, and all Americans benefit from strong Net Neutrality consumer protections. Now it is up to the House of Representatives to follow the will of the people who have raised their voices in support of Net Neutrality in overwhelming numbers. We are counting on every member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to support the discharge petition to ensure that Latinos have equal and unfettered access to the Internet, the most vital communications tool of the 21st century.”