PROTECT NET NEUTRALITY
I am writing to you because I want to protect our open Internet. Two years ago, the FCC under Ajit Pai repealed the net neutrality protections that make the Internet an open and free platform to connect and exchange ideas. If we can’t restore these protections, the Internet as we know it could change forever.
The House of Representatives has passed the Save the Internet Act, which will restore the open Internet protections that were repealed by the FCC in 2017.
Now, Senate Republicans and Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema are blocking the bill in the Senate, despite the overwhelming and cross-partisan support that net neutrality has with the American public.
I hope our senators vote in favor of this bill. Otherwise, we’ll be forced to hold them accountable at the ballot box in 2020.
~ SUSIE HANNA
PLEASE write or call
After three years of nearly nonstop advocacy efforts, the hopes of California’s developmentally disabled and their families now rests with the governor and key leaders of the Legislature. I’m writing from AbilityFirst, based here in Pasadena servicing children and adults with disabilities in the region.
Community advocates who have been fighting for an 8 percent increase in rates for disability services have reason for hope, but also for concern. Advocates were heartened when the state Senate voted to provide funding for an 8 percent increase in their version of the budget. But when the State Assembly voted, they paired back the funding to allow for increases of just 5.5 percent. The Assembly version of the budget also failed to address hardships organizations like AbilityFirst and in the Los Angeles area are facing due to higher minimum wage costs.
Because of the differences in the two budgets, the funding for these services now moves to the Conference Committee. Gov. Newsom, President Pro Tem of the Senate Toni Atkins, Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon and Budget Chairs Sen. Holly Mitchell and Assembly member Phil Ting will lead these negotiations to finalize California’s budget for the coming year. They will complete their work before June 15.
People with developmental disabilities who depend upon support services and their advocates have been fighting for the 8 percent included in the Senate budget to slow the loss of experienced direct care staff who are leaving for better paying positions in fast food and retail industries. There are roughly 350,000 people who have been formally identified as eligible for services through California’s Lanterman Act. Each has an extended family of five or more who are directly involved with their loved ones. We estimate the California workforce to be close to 100,000 devoted to serving these individuals and their families. Roughly 30 percent of all of these people live within the greater Los Angeles-Orange County area.
I’m writing to ask members of the Pasadena community to please contact the following legislators during the next couple weeks and demand the 8 percent increase in rates for services provided to people with disabilities. The programs at the AbilityFirst Lawrence L. Frank Center in Pasadena depend on this crucial funding. AbilityFirst is a 93-year-old organization that sees the talents and possibilities in every individual and helps them to achieve their goals. But without the 8 percent increase, low pay for our staff will lead to unfulfilled positions that result in program closures.
Please write or call the following lawmakers:
• Sen. Holly Mitchell (Los Angeles), Chair Senate Budget Committee, (213) 745-6656, email@example.com
• Assembly member Phil Ting (San Francisco), Chair Assembly Budget Committee, (415) 557-2312, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins (San Diego), (619) 645-3133, email@example.com
• Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (Los Angeles), (562) 529-3250, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Sen. Jim Nielsen (Roseville, Yuba, Chico), Senate Vice-Chair Budget Committee, (916) 651-4004, email@example.com
• Assembly member Jay Obernolte (Victorville) (760) 244-5277, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Assembly member Chris Holden, (626) 351-1917, email@example.com
•Sen. Anthony Portantino, (916) 651-4025, firstname.lastname@example.org
More California State Senate contact information can be found at senate.ca.gov.
California State Assembly member contact information can be found at assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers.
~ REBECCA HAUSSLING
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
Send letters to email@example.com. For news tips and information about happenings and events, contact Kevin at the address above or call (626) 584-1500, ext. 115. Contact Deputy Editor André Coleman at firstname.lastname@example.org and at ext. 114.