Over 100 U.S. Mayors Join de Blasio To Defend Net Neutrality From Harlem To Hollywood

Last month, Mayors Bill de Blasio, Steve Adler, and Ted Wheeler (Portland, OR) launched the Cities Open Internet Pledge to encourage mayors to take action against the repeal of net neutrality rules. Within a week of the announcement, over 20 cities signed onto the pledge agreeing to only do business with internet and telecommunications service providers that follow strong net neutrality principles. Today, 110 mayors representing over 25 million people have signed on to use their local authority to protect net neutrality.

“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 de Blasio. “Cities must continue to join together to protect an open internet for all of our people in the face of reckless deregulation.”

To spread awareness about the initiative, a coalition of advocacy groups led by Free Press created mayorsfornetneutrality.org. Over 79,000 people have utilized the website to ask their mayors to sign the pledge.

In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality rules which allowed the FCC to prevent phone and cable companies from blocking, throttling and preferentially slowing access to websites and services.

“The internet is a shared resource that is essential for businesses of all sizes and for people from all walks of life,” stated Mayor Keller of Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Albuquerque residents need to know that vital information from government websites – and from all websites – is not being stalled or stopped for profit. Access to internet at workable speeds is critical to moving toward digital equity for all in our city.”

“As mayors, we don’t have the luxury of inaction,” Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, Missouri said. “We have to take a stand to ensure that our residents have access to the resources they need to survive in our increasingly interconnected world and that includes an open internet.”

“Net neutrality is crucial for our startup culture in Austin and around the country,” said Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Texas. “Making it harder for new businesses to reach their customers will stifle innovation, hurt our economy, and deeply impact our nation. It’s critical mayors use every tool at their disposal to ensure a free and open internet.”

“If we are to maximize entrepreneurial opportunities, grow quality jobs, and educate our youth, we must have net neutrality. We value net neutrality over profits for carriers,” said Mayor Paul R. Soglin of Madison, Wisconsin.

An open internet is the foundation for a modern, democratic society and economy. Without net neutrality, service providers could determine who can access internet content based on fees paid, impacting equal access to opportunities for people to thrive. Repeal of the rules would also put a disproportional burden on small businesses and start-ups. Small businesses must be able to connect to customers online to compete in today’s connected market. There are over 230,000 small businesses in New York City.

The FCC vote to repeal has sparked a national movement to restore open internet protections. In addition to the Cities Open Internet pledge, 33 states are considering legislation or resolutions to reject the FCC ruling and restore net neutrality protections. 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.

The FCC plans to replace the existing rules with the Restoring Internet Freedom rule. By changing the classification, ISPs will no longer be treated like telecommunications companies and would therefore no longer be under FCC jurisdiction.

The City of New York has taken steps to preserve net neutrality: incorporating net neutrality provisions into the LinkNYC franchise and issuing a “Truth in Broadband” RFI to evaluate in real-time how carriers provide internet service to consumers and how to identify if they are engaging in anti-net neutrality practices.

Mayors who have signed onto the Cities Open Internet Pledge:

Mayor Bill de Blasio — New York, NY

Mayor Steve Adler — Austin, TX

Mayor Ted Wheeler — Portland, OR

Mayor Ron Nirenberg — San Antonio, TX

Mayor Sly James — Kansas City, MO

Mayor Mark Farrell — San Francisco, CA

Mayor Catherine E. Pugh — Baltimore, MD

County Board of Supervisors Chair Zach Friend — Santa Cruz County, CA

Mayor Barney Seney — Putnam, CT

Mayor Paul Soglin — Madison, WI

Mayor Sam Liccardo — San Jose, CA

Mayor Jacob Frey — Minneapolis, MN

Mayor Ethan Strimling — Portland, ME

Mayor Don Boeder — Gaylord, MN

Mayor Tom Feldkamp — Bow Mar, CO

Mayor Pauline Cutter — San Leandro, CA

Mayor Lucy Vinis — Eugene, OR

Mayor Lisa Swain — Fair Lawn, NJ

Mayor Laura Keegan — Edgewater, CO

Mayor Michael Tubbs — Stockton, CA

Mayor Steve Schewel — Durham, NC

Mayor Ras Baraka — Newark, NJ

Mayor Steve Fulop — Jersey City, NJ

Mayor Andrew Ginther — Columbus, OH

Mayor Kim McMillan — Clarksville, TN

Mayor David Terrazas — Santa Cruz, CA

Mayor Frank Ortis — Pembroke Pines, FL

Mayor Lowell Hurst — Watsonville, CA

Mayor Shari Cantor — West Hartford, CT

Mayor Rick Davis — City of Tonawanda, NY

Mayor Sal Panto Jr — Easton, PA

Mayor Alex Morse — Holyoke, MA

Mayor Michelle Distler — Shawnee, KS

Mayor G. David Gillock — North Ridgeville, OH

Mayor Michael M Vargas — Perris, CA

Mayor Lyda Krewson — Saint Louis, MO

Mayor Bob Scott — Sioux City, IA

Mayor David Martin — Stamford, CT

Mayor Walt Maddox — Tuscaloosa, AL

Mayor Paul Heroux — Attleboro, MA

Mayor Jean (John) Mordo — Los Altos, CA

Mayor Debra S. Lewis — Ashland, WI

Mayor Heidi Harmon — San Luis Obispo, CA

Mayor Miro Weinberger — Burlington, VT

Mayor Zachary Vruwink — Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Mayor Kim Driscoll — Salem, MA

Mayor Trish Herrera Spence — Alamada, CA

Mayor Marc McGovern — Cambridge, MA

Mayor David M. DelVecchio — Lambertville, NJ

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp — Plainfield, NJ

Mayor Patrick Wojahn — College Park, MD

Mayor Francis M. Womack III — North Brunswick, NJ

Mayor Tom Butt — Richmond, CA

Mayor Dominic Persampiere — Oviedo, FL

Mayor Dan Horrigan — Akron, OH

Mayor Charles Lamb — Edmond, OK

Mayor Catherine Blakespear — Encinitas, CA

Mayor Peter d’Errico — Leverett, MA

Mayor Heilman — West Hollywood, CA

Mayor Lydia E. Lavelle — Carrboro, NC

Mayor Lovely Warren — Rochester, NY

Mayor Robert D. Parisi — West Orange, NJ

Mayor Michael P. Summers — Lakewood, OH

Mayor Debbie Brinkman — Littleton, CO

Mayor James Brainard — Carmel, IN

Mayor Svante Myrick — Ithaca, NY

Mayor Pam Hemminger — Chapel Hill NC

Mayor Jake Spano — St. Louis Park, MN

Mayor Ken Kreutzer — Brighton, CO

Mayor Suzette Cavadas — Union, NJ

Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez — Moreno Valley, CA

Mayor Gail Johnson — Oswego, IL

Mayor Pete Buttigieg — South Bend, IN

Mayor Robert Donchez — Bethlehem, PA

Mayor Chris Koos — Normal, IL

Mayor Bob Kelly — Great Falls, MT

Mayor David H. Bieter — Boise, ID

Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla — Hoboken, NJ

Mayor Tim Mahoney — Fargo, ND

Mayor Rich Tran — Milpitas, CA

Mayor Randy Rhoads — Lee’s Summit, MO

Mayor Michael J. Venezia — Bloomfield, NJ

Mayor Denny Doyle — Beaverton, OR

Mayor Emmett V. Jordan — Greenbelt, MD

Mayor Nikuyah Walker — Charlottesville, VA

Mayor Deirdre Waterman — Pontiac, MI

Mayor Karen Weston — Dover, NH

Mayor Milissa Holland — Palm Coast, FL

Mayor Levar Stoney — Richmond, VA

Mayor David J. Narkewicz — Northampton, MA

Mayor Chuck Bennett — Salem, OR

Mayor Nora Slawik — Maplewood, MN

Mayor David O. Earling — Edmonds, WA

Mayor Arlene R. Schwartz — Margate, Florida

Mayor Tim Keller — Albuquerque, NM

Mayor Liz Lempert — Princeton, NJ

Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu — Bristol, CT

Mayor Mark Meadows — East Lansing, MI

Mayor Randall L. Woodfin — Birmingham, AL

Mayor Mike Vandersteen — Sheboygan, WI

William A. Kawecki — Morgantown, WV

Mayor Brenda Gunter — San Angelo, TX

Mayor Robert Garcia — Long Beach, CA

Mayor Ted Winterer — Santa Monica, CA

Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan — Braintree, MA

Mayor Shelley Brophy — Nacogdoches, TX

Mayor Paula Zelenko — Burton, MI

Mayor Bobby Kilgore — Monroe, NC

Mayor Tim Willson — Brooklyn Center, MN

Mayor Wynn Butler — Manhattan, Kansas

Learn more about the Cities Open Internet Pledge: Mayors from Across the Country Join Mayor de Blasio in Signing the Cities Open Internet Pledge Dedicated to Protecting Net Neutrality

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