The following is something I originally wrote for my email newsletter, but this is urgent – if you love the work I do (or even if you love someone else’s work), this WILL impact you:
So here’s my concern – I currently work making comics here in the United States. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC)’s chairman, Ajit Pai, is a former Verizon lobbyist and is REALLY keen on getting rid of net neutrality – net neutrality is the principle that all websites and all data be treated equally.
Pai’s reasoning for getting rid of net neutrality is that he wants internet service providers, or ISPs, to “expand their services” by offering fast connection speeds for “prime” content and slow connection speeds to everyone else.
Now, this would directly impact me and other creators you love and support online because I DO NOT HAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS to bribe Verizon, Comcast, or other ISPs to offer my webcomics and art via “fast lanes.”
It would also impact me another way – losing net neutrality gives ISPs the power to censor access to specific sites, especially if those websites have something they don’t agree with. Because I make LGBTQ comics and comics sympathetic to witches and post them online, losing net neutrality would mean a staunchly conservative ISP would have the power to block my comics from readers who may need these stories the most.
HOWEVER – it’s still within your power to get your voice heard about this issue, especially if you are over the age of 18. Call your elected officials by dialing 1-202-224-3121. This phone number will connect you to the Washington, DC switchboard. All you have to do is plug in your ZIP code and pick whether you want to call one of your Senators, or your representative in the House of Representatives. CALL ALL OF THEM.
When you get connected, you’ll either get a voicemail box or you’ll be connected to an aide. BE NICE. Here’s a rough outline of what you can say:
“Hello my name is (NAME) and I’m a constituent from (TOWN, ZIP CODE). I wanted to call to urge (SENATOR/REP) to give net neutrality and internet access Title II reclassification as a public utility, and urge FCC Chairman Pai to drop his current plan.”
You can also share a reason as to why this is important to you. BE CIVIL. The aides on the phone are not your elected official and are doing their job as best as they can. In fact, at the end of your phone call, thank the aide for their work.
If you want to go further, check out battleforthenet.com. But honestly, phone calls are the most effective thing you can do right now.
“Awww, but my phone call won’t matter because my elected officials are bribed by the whine whine whine whine – ”
The whole reason Trumpcare and other garbage proposals have failed so many times is because of public outrage and people like you calling your elected officials and holding them accountable. And, speaking with all honesty, your elected officials are TERRIFIED of you, because they know you have the power to vote them out.
So please, if you have 5 minutes, make the call.
To be totally honest – I’m terrified of losing net neutrality. It would mean the end of releasing my comics online. It would mean the end of being able to make a living from making the art I do. It would mean the end of thousands of careers that began on KickStarter and Indiegogo and other crowdfunding platforms. It would mean billions of dollars being sucked out of our industries.
But YOU have the power to get your voice heard and stand up for net neutrality.
So get your voice heard!
Thank you for your support.
You. Are. Awesome.
P.S. If the idea of making phone calls makes you break into a panic attack, you can also text RESIST to 50409. Follow the prompts and ResistBot will help you write a fax to send to your elected officials. Calling IS the most effective thing you can do, but collaborating with ResistBot helps, too.