In addition to healthcare, Social Security, voting rights, and the slate of other widely discussed issues on the ballot in the upcoming midterm elections—which are now just 11 days away—the future of net neutrality also hangs in the balance on Nov. 6, and open internet advocates are organizing a massive on- and offline mobilization ahead of election day to ensure that congressional candidates side with the vast majority of their constituents over the interests of the telecom industry.
"Voters deserve to know where the candidates stand on preserving the free and open Internet."
—Jerri GloverFight for the Future announced on Thursday that it is teaming up with local organizers to hold telephone town halls in 24 crucial swing districts in an effort to "hear directly from candidates about where they stand on the FCC's disastrous and unpopular repeal of net neutrality."
Currently, the House is 41 signatures away from forcing a vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would restore net neutrality, and advocacy groups are emphasizing the urgency of electing politicians who are on the record supporting the open internet against the Republican-controlled FCC's attacks.
"Net neutrality is a crucial issue for Texas and clearly one of the most talked about issues of this election cycle," Jerri Glover, who is helping organize a town hall in Texas' 13th congressional district, said in a statement. "Voters deserve to know where the candidates stand on preserving the free and open Internet."
— Fight for the Future (@fightfortheftr) October 23, 2018
177 Representatives have signed the CRA discharge to force a vote to restore #NetNeutrality, and we need 218 to win. With 86% of Americans supporting #NetNeutrality, the only question is: WHERE IS THE REST OF CONGRESS!? Call your rep today! https://t.co/x60dXHRFHB
— Free Press Action (@freepressaction) October 25, 2018
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Anthony Damore, a resident of Florida's 18th congressional district, said he plans to attend the telephone town hall in for his district to make clear to candidates that "supporting net neutrality means supporting an Internet that prioritizes people over corporate interest, that videos and music aren't subject to fast lanes and slow lanes ensuring only those with money get heard... Net neutrality ensures we all have a voice!"
On its "Vote for Net Neutrality" campaign website, Fight for the Future and Demand Progress provide a scorecard detailing each candidate's position on net neutrality in the two dozen swing districts "where net neutrality supporters can make the most difference pressuring lawmakers to do the right thing."
On top of the telephone town halls in close races nationwide, open internet advocates are also teaming up with websites and online communities to carry out a massive pre-election social media blitz to make sure candidates feel the heat and understand that strong net neutrality protections are supported by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans.
According to Fight for the Future, this pressure campaign will include "mass text messages" aimed at educating net neutrality backers nationwide, "position alerts" to inform millions of Americans on where candidates stand on net neutrality, and a pressure campaign urging current members of Congress to back ongoing efforts to restore net neutrality.