Friday, April 13, 2007

Betty Sutton Hears from Save the Internet

Save the Net NowThose Save the Internet/Free Press folks (click on the icon at left to visit them) contacted me about meeting with Betty Sutton this week about net neutrality. Four other folks and I met with Jerel Klue, District Office Director today.

(If you are new to the net neutrality debate, this post about last year's effort has some pretty good links for catching up.)

I've done both grassroots lobbying and professional lobbying. This was something of a hybrid. We had a couple of regular folks who just want the internet to remain as vital and accessible as it is now. They did the grassroots lobbying thing -- they told their stories and expressed their concerns about the issue in personal tersm.

We also had some semi-professional activist types like myself who were able to lead Mr. Klue into the more arcane and theorhetical areas of the issue.

Jerel Klue is an excellent staffer which means, with regard to a constituent lobbying call, he listened, he took notes, he looked interested and he promised to take the issue up the ladder, but nothing else. That's not good or bad. He may well have looked interested because he was interested and personally, I like the guy so hopefully that's the case. It's just that a good staffer gives that impression all the time, so you never know after that first meeting.

I write this for two reasons, then. First is to tip the hat to Save the Internet's organizing. They arranged the meeting in the district office and pulled five folks into it, all via email and phone calls. As it happens, a few of us knew each other from SCPD, but we could well have been five complete strangers brought together by organizers working in DC. Nifty piece of work, and apparently they are doing it all over.

Second, it doesn't hurt to mention that Rep. Sutton has received constituent calls on this issue. For that matter, if you are a resident of The Fighting Thirteenth, drop her a line.


Anonymous said...

hey Scott-
It's Josh, from the net neutrality meeting. I'm wondering, do I fall under the regular folks tag or did I give the impression of being a semi-pro lobbyist type? I ask because it's something I've thought about picking up work doing. I think I might actually be good at this stuff, but who knows? hit me back at citizenj [at] gmail [dot] com if you'd like to keep in touch.