Office of Communications, Inc.

UCC Media Justice Update

Letter to the Congressional Oversight Committee


March 16, 2015

Rep. Jason Chaffetz
Chair of the House Oversight & Gov’t Reform
2157 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515


Rep. Elijah Cummings
Ranking Member of theHouse Oversight & Gov’t Reform
2157 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515


Dear Chairman Chaffetz and Ranking Member Cummings:

As racial justice and civil rights organizations, we write to express our support of the recent Federal Communications Commission decision to enact strong and enforceable Net Neutrality rules.

Our organizations are among the more than 100 racial justice and civil rights groups that have called on the FCC to pass strong Net Neutrality rules using its Title II authority. It is critical that the FCC have the legal authority to protect the online digital rights of communities that historically have been marginalized in our society. With such protections, our communities have been able to better participate in our democracy, tell our own stories, strive towards educational excellence and pursue economic success.

We are deeply troubled by Congressional efforts to overturn the Net Neutrality order and to strip the Commission of its legal authority to enforce its Net Neutrality protections under Title II of the Communications Act. This includes efforts to prevent the Commission from enforcing Net Neutrality by defunding the agency.

The Net Neutrality debate has centered on whether the Commission has the authority to enforce Net Neutrality rules that prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or discriminating against online content. A federal court ruled last year that the Commission could not ban such online discrimination without reclassifying ISPs as common carriers under Title II. Therefore, the FCC cannot protect Internet users from ISP practices such as blocking, throttling and other types of discriminatory conduct that could arise as the marketplace and technology evolves, without asserting its authority under Title II.

This is why more than four million people have called on the FCC to use its Title II authority to adopt strong and enforceable Net Neutrality rules over the past year.

Accordingly, we respectfully request that you join the millions of digital equality champions and support the FCC's historic decision, and reject any efforts to overturn or weaken the decision. You will be in good company, on the right side of public opinion and history.

Sincerely,

Alliance for a Just Society
Black Alliance for Just Immigration Black Lives Matter
Center for Community Change Center for Media Justice
Center for Popular Democracy
Center for Rural Strategies
Center for Social Inclusion ColorOfChange.org
Community Justice Network for Youth Demos
Dream Defenders
18 Million Rising
Ella Baker Center
Forward Together
Free Press
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Latino Rebels
Media Action Grassroots Network
Mexican American Opportunity Foundation
Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
Movement Strategy Center
National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) National Association of Hispanic Journalists
National Association of Latino Independent Producers National Economic & Social Rights Initiative
National Guestworker Alliance
National Hispanic Media Coalition
National Institute for Latino Policy
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National People's Action
News Taco
Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say
Our Walmart
Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity
Presente.org
Radio Bilingüe
Race Forward
Right to the City Alliance
Roosevelt Institute Campus Network
The Librotraficante Movement
The Praxis Project
United Church of Christ, OC Inc.
United We Dream
Voices for Internet Freedom

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