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The Fate of Net Neutrality Hinges on the House

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NEW YORK — More than 100 U.S. mayors have signed on to the Cities Open Internet Pledge requiring all internet providers that do business with participating cities to adhere to strong Net Neutrality principles.

The effort was launched during the SXSW conference last month when Mayors Bill de Blasio of New York City, Steve Adler of Austin and Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon, released the pledge and urged fellow mayors to sign on.

In collaboration, Free Press Action Fund created the MayorsForNetNeutrality.org website and partnered with Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Democracy for America, People for the American Way, Roots Action and other groups to alert residents to write their local mayors and ask them to sign the pledge.

Those participating include the mayors of Baltimore, Birmingham, Boise, Columbus, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Newark, St. Louis, San Antonio and San Francisco (a full list is available below). Together these cities serve a population of more than 25 million people, who are protected under the pledge from phone- and cable-company efforts to block, throttle or prioritize content online.

The Cities Open Internet Pledge is available here.  

The action is the mayors’ response to the Federal Communications Commission’s unpopular 2017 decision to strip internet users of Net Neutrality protections. The ruling is expected to take effect in the coming days or weeks.

The FCC vote has sparked a national movement to restore the open-internet protections. In addition to this mayoral initiative, 33 states are considering legislation or resolutions to reject the FCC ruling and reinstate the Net Neutrality rules.

A congressional resolution of disapproval, which would void the FCC ruling, has gained hundreds of co-sponsors in the House and Senate, with a Senate vote expected in May.

“Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the Trump administration’s attempt to strip away the right to access a fair and open internet. Since New York City helped launch the pledge, over 100 cities have signed on,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Cities must continue to join together to protect an open internet for all of our people in the face of reckless deregulation."

“Net Neutrality is vitally important to ensure communications with our citizens, both daily and during emergencies,” said St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. “Further, internet access is increasingly part of how we deliver services. A pay-to-play internet will increase our costs and make it harder for government to implement smarter ways of doing business.”

“Local leaders are forming a bulwark to defend our rights to connect and communicate against the real and present threat to Net Neutrality,” said Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy and communications for Free Press Action Fund. “On average, more than three city mayors are signing the Cities Open Internet Pledge each day, with more expected to join throughout the spring and summer. So many mayors are signing on because they understand that an open internet is vital to the livelihood of their communities. If bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., won’t protect Net Neutrality against the FCC’s wrongheaded decision, local leaders are ready to step up for the people they represent.”

Mayors and local leaders who have signed the pledge as of April 24 (in order of their signing):

Mayor Bill de Blasio — New York, NY
Mayor Steve Adler — Austin, Texas
Mayor Ted Wheeler — Portland, Oregon
Mayor Ron Nirenberg — San Antonio, Texas
Mayor Sly James — Kansas City, Missouri
Mayor Mark Farrell — San Francisco, California
Mayor Catherine E. Pugh — Baltimore, Maryland
County Board of Supervisors Chair Zach Friend — Santa Cruz County, California
Mayor Barney Seney — Putnam, Connecticut
Mayor Paul Soglin — Madison, Wisconsin
Mayor Sam Liccardo — San Jose, California
Mayor Jacob Frey — Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mayor Ethan Strimling — Portland, Maine
Mayor Don Boeder — Gaylord, Minnesota
Mayor Tom Feldkamp — Bow Mar, Colorado
Mayor Pauline Cutter — San Leandro, California
Mayor Lucy Vinis — Eugene, Oregon
Mayor Lisa Swain — Fair Lawn, New Jersey
Mayor Laura Keegan — Edgewater, Colorado
Mayor Michael Tubbs — Stockton, California
Mayor Steve Schewel — Durham, North Carolina
Mayor Ras Baraka — Newark, New Jersey
Mayor Steve Fulop — Jersey City, New Jersey
Mayor Andrew Ginther — Columbus, Ohio
Mayor Kim McMillan — Clarksville, Tennessee
Mayor David Terrazas — Santa Cruz, California
Mayor Frank Ortis — Pembroke Pines, Florida
Mayor Lowell Hurst — Watsonville, California
Mayor Shari Cantor — West Hartford, Connecticut
Mayor Rick Davis — City of Tonawanda, New York
Mayor Sal Panto Jr. — Easton, Pennsylvania
Mayor Alex Morse — Holyoke, Massachusetts
Mayor Michelle Distler — Shawnee, Kansas
Mayor G. David Gillock — North Ridgeville, Ohio
Mayor Michael M. Vargas — Perris, California
Mayor Lyda Krewson — St. Louis, Missouri
Mayor Bob Scott — Sioux City, Iowa
Mayor David Martin — Stamford, Connecticut
Mayor Walt Maddox — Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Mayor Paul Heroux — Attleboro, Massachusetts
Mayor Jean (John) Mordo — Los Altos, California
Mayor Debra S. Lewis — Ashland, Wisconsin
Mayor Heidi Harmon — San Luis Obispo, California
Mayor Miro Weinberger — Burlington, Vermont
Mayor Zachary Vruwink — Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Mayor Kim Driscoll — Salem, Massachusetts
Mayor Trish Herrera Spence — Alameda, California
Mayor Marc McGovern — Cambridge, Massachusetts
Mayor David M. DelVecchio — Lambertville, New Jersey
Mayor Adrian O. Mapp — Plainfield, New Jersey
Mayor Patrick Wojahn  — College Park, Maryland
Mayor Francis M. Womack III — North Brunswick, New Jersey
Mayor Tom Butt — Richmond, California
Mayor Dominic Persampiere — Oviedo, Florida
Mayor Dan Horrigan — Akron, Ohio
Mayor Charles Lamb — Edmond, Oklahoma
Mayor Catherine Blakespear — Encinitas, California
Select Board Chair Peter d’Errico — Leverett, Massachusetts
Mayor John Heilman — West Hollywood, California
Mayor Lydia E. Lavelle — Carrboro, North Carolina
Mayor Lovely Warren — Rochester, New York
Mayor Robert D. Parisi — West Orange, New Jersey
Mayor Michael P. Summers — Lakewood, Ohio
Mayor Debbie Brinkman — Littleton, Colorado
Mayor James Brainard — Carmel, Indiana
Mayor Svante Myrick — Ithaca, New York
Mayor Pam Hemminger — Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Mayor Jake Spano — St. Louis Park, Minnesota
Mayor Ken Kreutzer — Brighton, Colorado
Mayor Suzette Cavadas — Union, New Jersey
Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez — Moreno Valley, California
Mayor Gail Johnson — Oswego, Illinois
Mayor Pete Buttigieg — South Bend, Indiana
Mayor Robert Donchez — Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Mayor Chris Koos — Normal, Illinois
Mayor Bob Kelly — Great Falls, Montana
Mayor David H. Bieter — Boise, Idaho
Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla — Hoboken, New Jersey
Mayor Tim Mahoney — Fargo, North Dakota
Mayor Rich Tran — Milpitas, California
Mayor Randy Rhoads — Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Mayor Michael J. Venezia — Bloomfield, New Jersey
Mayor Denny Doyle — Beaverton, Oregon
Mayor Emmett V. Jordan — Greenbelt, Maryland
Mayor Nikuyah Walker — Charlottesville, Virginia
Mayor Deirdre Waterman — Pontiac, Michigan
Mayor Karen Weston — Dover, New Hampshire
Mayor Milissa Holland — Palm Coast, Florida
Mayor Levar Stoney — Richmond, Virginia
Mayor David J. Narkewicz — Northampton, Massachusetts
Mayor Chuck Bennett — Salem, Oregon
Mayor Nora Slawik — Maplewood, Minnesota
Mayor David O. Earling — Edmonds, Washington
Mayor Arlene R. Schwartz — Margate, Florida
Mayor Tim Keller — Albuquerque, New Mexico
Mayor Liz Lempert — Princeton, New Jersey
Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu — Bristol, Connecticut
Mayor Mark Meadows — East Lansing, Michigan
Mayor Randall L. Woodfin — Birmingham, Alabama
Mayor Mike Vandersteen — Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Mayor William A. Kawecki — Morgantown, West  Virginia
Mayor Brenda Gunter — San Angelo, Texas
Mayor Robert Garcia — Long Beach, California
Mayor Ted Winterer — Santa Monica, California
Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan — Braintree, Massachusetts
Mayor Shelley Brophy — Nacogdoches, Texas
Mayor Paula Zelenko — Burton, Michigan
Mayor Bobby Kilgore — Monroe, North Carolina
Mayor Tim Willson — Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
Mayor Wynn Butler — Manhattan, Kansas

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