POPVOX Alert: Mobile Informational Call Act dead
Last week, the sponsor of the Mobile Information Call Act killed his own bill. In a letter to the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Lee Terry asked that his own legislation not be advanced.
The Congressman explained on his Facebook page: "After listening to concerned constituents, today I have asked House leadership to not advance HR 3035, the Mobile Informational Call Act."
When POPVOX co-founder, Marci Harris, and I first heard about this turn of events, we did a collective, "Say what?" It is indeed an unusual move on Rep. Terry's part -- but it's a great demonstration of Congress actually listening to constituents.
Nationwide, more than 10,000 people sent messages to Congress opposing HR 3035 through the POPVOX platform. Opposition for the bill was equally overwhelming in Rep. Terry's Congressional district, NE-2, (97%) as it was across Nebraska (98%) and the nation (99%).
I frequently get asked by POPVOX users for examples of bills that were propelled (or derailed) with the help of POPVOX's platform. This one will certainly top my list. It's also an example of why the POPVOX platform is so effective:
- POPVOX.com's neutral, nonpartisan platform gave a 360-degree view of HR 3035. Our HR 3035 bill page gave users information on which organizations supported and opposed the bill and what others were saying about it.
- POPVOX delivered every message to the appropriate Members of Congress and offered confirmation of delivery. For individuals that are skeptical of petitions or the "contact Congress" model of advocacy, POPVOX is both transparent and accountable. (You can find the confirmation for your message on your POPVOX homepage.)
- POPVOX enables everyone to see the "big picture." Have you seen the map of support vs. opposition on HR 3035? It’s pretty powerful to see that people have weighed in from every state.
- POPVOX’s free widgets can empower organizations and individuals to mobilize others.
Citizens for Civil Discourse, a nonprofit organization, began working with POPVOX in October, soon after the bill was introduced. The organization embedded a POPVOX Write Congress widget onto their website and asked their network to oppose the bill. (See their profile on POPVOX.)
Then, in early November, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller testified before Congress against HR 3035. He then urged Indianans to go to POPVOX.com to oppose the bill. "I'm not trying to shut down Congress with a lot of calls. I respect the hassles of too many calls," Mr. Zoeller told the Journal Gazette. "But I do think this is a representative government. People need to be heard."