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MediaJustice

Racial Justice Advocates Applaud New Legislation to ‘Save the Internet’

Group Says Restoring Net Neutrality is a Racial Justice Issue


March 6th, 2019


CONTACT: Imran Siddiquee, imran@mediajustice.org, 510.698.3800 x 403


WASHINGTON, DC -- Democrats in the House and Senate unveiled new legislation today to restore the comprehensive rules governing the Internet, which were developed and passed under former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in 2015. Titled the Save The Internet Act, the legislation aims to reverse the Net Neutrality repeal order passed by Trump’s Federal Communications Commission in December 2017. Racial justice groups, including the Center for Media Justice, celebrated this announcement as a move towards restoring a free and open Internet for communities of color and those living on low incomes.


Despite overwhelming opposition, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai repealed the 2015 Open Internet Order through a process which critics have claimed was rushed and unprincipled. In response, advocates and organizers across all sectors of American life mobilized to push state and local governments to act where the federal government had failed—leading to more than 30 state legislatures introducing bills to reinstate Net Neutrality. In California, the Center for Media Justice was part of a coalition effort which successfully passed the nation’s strongest Net Neutrality protections.


After winning the majority in the House, Democratic leaders are seeking to make good on their promise to prioritize the digital civil rights of consumers through the introduction of today's Save The Internet Act, which will particularly benefit communities of color. The introduction of this legislation is seen by grassroots leaders as the first step to guaranteeing that marginalized communities have an equal playing field to access the internet to advocate for their rights, find housing, search for employment, and connect to the other resources they need to thrive.


The following quote can be attributed to Erin Shields, National Field Organizer for Internet Rights at the Center for Media Justice: "The Center for Media Justice is pleased to see the fight to restore our digital civil rights remains a priority in Congress with the introduction of the Save The Internet Act. That is, in no small part, thanks to the outpouring of anger and concern following the deeply unpopular and unnecessary Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality. Unlike many other issues before Congress, Net Neutrality enjoys support from all sides of the political spectrum across the country. Communities know the right to speak and be heard online is not an issue of partisan politics but of fundamental civil rights. We will continue to engage the leadership of our communities in the fight for equal voice online and look forward to working with congressional members to ensure the bill does all it can to protect the rights and interests of people of color.


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Launched in 2009, the Center for Media Justice fights for racial and economic equity in a digital age. mediajustice.org