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Tuesday 5/30 Action Opportunities

1. On May 24, The House passed HR 953, the “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017.”  (HR 953) This is a misleading title for what is essentially taking away important safety regulations that help keep our water clean.  Thanks to a 2009 court decision, there is a more extensive permit process in place before pesticides can be used that may contaminate water.  This bill was passed to eliminate the ‘burden’ from the pesticide industry, which happened to have spent millions lobbying for such legislation, under the guise of protection from mosquito-borne illnesses.  The bill has been introduced to the Senate, where it previously failed to pass due to threat of veto from then President Obama. Make sure our senators know that we expect them to fight this dangerous legislation. 

  • Kaine: Washington DC: 202–224–4024, Manassas 703–361–3192, Roanoke 540–682–5693, Virginia Beach 757–518–1674, Richmond 804–771–2221, Abingdon 276–525–4790, Danville 434-792–0976, and his contact form is here.
  • Warner: Washington DC 202-224-2023, Roanoke 540-857-2676, Abingdon 276-628-8158, Norfolk 757-441-3079, Richmond 804-775-2314, Vienna 703-442-0670. His “Submit Comment” form is here.
  • Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _______, and my zip code is ________. I am contacting Senator ____________ to ask him to oppose the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act recently passed by the House.  HR 953 is a dangerous bill that would endanger our health and our environment by rolling back protections granted by the Clean Water Act.  It is a clear attempt by the pesticide industry to influence legislation to their benefit.”

2. With another misleading title, the FCC has passed its most recent proposal entitled “Restoring Internet Freedom,” which would effectively do the opposite of what its title suggests by undoing 2015 net neutrality rules.  Once again, they are opening up a public comment period, of which the first deadline is July 17.  They are looking for quality comments/arguments for net neutrality rather than quantity and are obligated to act in public interest before making a final vote later this year.  This proposal will be a long time in the making and will likely end up in court, so public input is vital in the process, as the comments really will be taken into consideration.  The net neutrality rules that were put into place during the last administration give the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) authority, over internet service providers in order to prevent them from doing such things as blocking or prioritizing certain content for financial gain.  Repeal would reverse the Title II classification given to ISPs and essentially take away FCC authority instead trusting them to govern themselves.  Instead of preventing ISP abuses, the FCC would have punish them after the fact.  This is not a partisan issue.

  • Comments can be submitted at this website.
  • Once at the website, choose the [+Express] in the bottom of the top box on the left hand side. This will bring you to a form to fill out with your information and comment. Hit the blue review button and if all looks well, click submit which should bring you to a confirmation screen. 
  • Suggested comment: “I strongly support net neutrality and Title II classification for ISPs. We can not leave it up to the huge communications corporations to ‘play nice’ without any way to enforce that they do so.”

3. After commenting, it’s time to put pressure on our MoC to pass net neutrality laws that would keep protections in place. 

  • Kaine: Washington DC: 202–224–4024, Manassas 703–361–3192, Roanoke 540–682–5693, Virginia Beach 757–518–1674, Richmond 804–771–2221, Abingdon 276–525–4790, Danville 434-792–0976, and his contact form is here.
  • Warner: Washington DC 202-224-2023, Roanoke 540-857-2676, Abingdon 276-628-8158, Norfolk 757-441-3079, Richmond 804-775-2314, Vienna 703-442-0670. His “Submit Comment” form is here.
  • Goodlatte: Staunton (540) 885-3861, Harrisonburg (540) 432-2391, Lynchburg (434) 845-8306, Roanoke (540) 857-2672, Washington DC 202-225-5431 and email form here.
  • Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _______, and my zip code is ________. I’m contacting Senator/Representative ______________ to  ask him to introduce legislation to protect net neutrality.  The new head of the FCC  is making efforts to roll back rules that are in place to protect consumers and ensure their access to all legal content on an equal basis. We need laws to prevent future tampering with these protections.”

4. Upcoming event: ‘Issues Facing Staunton’s Working Poor’. Hosted by Local and Vocal in Staunton. June 1, 6-7:30 PM at the Staunton Public Library.

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