In a letter to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, nearly thirty non-profit organizations representing people of color and/or working towards comprehensive immigration reform requested that the Federal Communications Commission swiftly exert authority over cell phone text messages.
“Text messaging is a necessary tool for many members of our organizations and for countless public interest and civil rights groups because, while many of our constituents do not have Internet access, nearly all of them have wireless cell phones,” said Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC). “Wireless service providers should not be permitted to discriminate against certain types of text messages at the expense of the general public.”
Communities of color have been using text messaging to encourage democratic participation and galvanize support for important causes. One example, our “Text JUSTICE” campaign, relies on text messages to mobilize communities across the nation whenever action is needed to support immigration reform. With over 100,000 subscribers, some estimate that “Text JUSTICE” is the largest text message action list in the country. This has given voice to many who, traditionally, have not been heard in this important debate. And it has been used to great effect. For instance, in May of this year, the “Text JUSTICE” campaign was implemented to assemble over 500,000 people in 30 states in support of just and humane immigration reform. This is just one of the many examples of how text messaging plays a vital role in activism in our communities.
Nogales added, “In recent history, some mobile providers have begun a troubling trend of discriminating amongst text messaging traffic and refusing to deliver texts with which they disagree. Our organizations invest a great deal of time and money into text message advocacy and should not have to worry about the uncertainty of whether or not a service provider will deem our ideas worthy of transmittal.”http://www.nhmc.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Final-Letter-to-FCC-from-Immigrant-Rights-Groups_0.pdf ]]>