Center for Media Justice

Advocacy Organizations Hold Congressional Briefing to Fight for Net Neutrality

February 27, 2017

Contact: Libeth Morales,, 510-698-3800 x403

Today, a congressional briefing was held marking the 2 year anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission’s adoption of Net Neutrality rules. The briefing was jointly hosted by the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Voices for Internet Freedom Coalition. Rep. Maxine Waters and FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn delivered introductory remarks.

Almost two years ago to the day, the FCC adopted open Internet protections to prevent Internet Service Providers from slowing down or blocking lawful content online. They extended Net Neutrality protections to wireless users as more people, particularly those in communities of color, depend on their smartphone for Internet access. A panel of advocates shared the history that led to the FCC’s historic vote in 2015 and spoke to emerging threats from Congress.

The following are quotes attributable to participants of today’s congressional briefing:

“Net Neutrality is not simply about technology, it’s about the everyday people who use it and whether they will have the right to be heard online. Two years ago, the FCC affirmed that everyone, regardless of class or race, deserves access to a media platform that does not discriminate. We look forward to working with champions like Rep. Maxine Waters and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn to ensure this vital protection is not lost.” -- Steven Renderos, Organizing Director at the Center for Media Justice

“Net neutrality has made the Internet a level playing field for all voices. For Black folks, this has been crucial. For the first time in history we can communicate with a global audience — for entertainment, education, or political organizing — without prohibitive costs, or mediation by government or industry. That’s how Color Of Change became successful: because of the low cost of starting up online, we could start small and grow without spending a lot of money. The strength of our ideas, not the size of our budget, determined our success. Net neutrality is what allowed us to call attention to injustice in Ferguson, and lead a national conversation on racism and police accountability. It is what allows us to speak out against Trump’s New Klan and help build an unignorable opposition. Unless enough of us speak out now, we could fall right into Trump’s plan and lose one of the most powerful platforms we’ve ever had to fight for justice and equality.” -- Brandi Collins, Campaign Director at Color of Change

"We must fight to protect Net Neutrality in the face of this authoritarian President who is simultaneously attacking communities of color and cracking down on free speech and expression. We cannot allow Trump and his FCC Chair, Ajit Pai, to take away an open internet, which ensures that our dissident voices will be heard and never silenced in our struggle for racial justice." -- Joe Torres, Senior External Affairs Director at Free Press

“February 26th not only marks the anniversary of the passing of Net Neutrality, but also the 5 year anniversary of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Million Hoodies emerged as a response to the lack of attention being paid to Martin’s death. An open Internet protected by Title II Net Neutrality is vital for a new generation of Black and Brown activists to expose a very old story of inequality and discrimination, and stand up against the infringement of the government on our people.” -- Dante Barry, Executive Director at Million Hoodies Movement for Justice

"Preserving an open internet is essential for Latinos to realize their fullest educational and economic potential. With half of Latino households still lacking broadband internet, preserving the modernization of Lifeline—with its promise of affordable broadband for low-income consumers—is imperative." -- Gloria Tristani, Special Policy Advisor at the National Hispanic Media Coalition