Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hispanic Caucus Silence on Net Neutrality

Republicans in Congress are already working overtime to overthrow one of the biggest progressive victories in recent memory — the new net neutrality rules the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed last month. The Republican majority, spurred on by their donors in the telecom industry, is using committee hearings to air wild conspiracy theories and levy baseless accusations at the FCC.

Given how important an open Internet is to our communities, each member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus ought to be vocally pushing back on the Republican lies. Unfortunately, the CHC is largely being silent. They need to know that Latinos and our allies demand that they defend net neutrality.

With more than 7 million comments submitted to the FCC, net neutrality was an incredibly popular issue -- one that earned the support of Republicans and Democrats alike. So now Republicans are attempting to politicize the issue by using congressional hearings to accuse the FCC of bowing to President Obama's influence. They think that by tying net neutrality to President Obama, they'll be able to make the policy less popular.

It’s important to remember just what’s at stake here. For us, net neutrality means that our ideas can be freely shared on the line without interference. It means that entrepreneurs in our communities can start online businesses without fear that Internet Service Providers will pick winners and losers. In short, net neutrality means that we’re free to produce content and create services online and compete on a level playing field.

But telecoms stand to make a lot of money from creating a system in which they can pick the winners and losers. They would love to be able to charge more money for access to online fast lanes that deliver services and content faster than the competition. That would be a losing proposition for Latinos and other people of color, who are often poorer and have less access to capital than their white counterparts.

Despite this, Reps. Raul Grijalva and Jose Serrana are the only members of the CHC to strongly support net neutrality rules. We need the entire CHC to stand up for our online rights.

That’s why it’s so important that you reach out to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus today. Our call tool makes it quick and easy: we’ll give you a short script to use, and our system will call you and connect you with the office of a Latino member of Congress who should be fighting the Republican attack on net neutrality.

Thanks and ¡Adelante!

Mariana, Arturo, Erica, Erick, Luis, and the team

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