For Immediate Release

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Concerned with FCC Chair Pai’s Recent Actions

WASHINGTON - The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is raising concerns over Federal Communications Chair (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s recent decisions on Lifeline, media ownership, and inmate calling rates.

In a letter sent today to the FCC Chairman seeking a meeting, The Leadership Conference noted in part, “These three issues comprise the core of the Commission’s obligations under the Communications Act to ‘make available … to all people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, a rapid, efficient, Nationwide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.’  Thus, we hope to meet with you soon to discuss the above concerns.”

“Chairman Pai should align his statements with his actions,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference. “He professes concern with media ownership diversity while removing the only policy that has actually increased diversity. He says he wants to close the digital divide while cutting off access to affordable broadband.  He acknowledges the cost of calling prison is unacceptably high and the product of a dysfunctional market, but takes the side of phone companies and jails seeking to protect predatory rates. We look forward to meeting with the Chairman to discuss these and other important issues.”

The full letter is available here.


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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society – an America as good as its ideals.

The Leadership Conference is a 501(c)(4) organization that engages in legislative advocacy.  It was founded in 1950 and has coordinated national lobbying efforts on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957.

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