20 Organizations Call for Political Parties to Broaden Tech and Internet Policy Discussions

Given Economic and Social Impacts, Letter to RNC and DNC Asks for Groups’ Voices to Be Included in Platform Development Discussions

As both the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee’s platform committees hold meetings in Washington, D.C. this week, Open MIC joined 19 other public interest organizations in a letter to both parties asking that they include public-interest and affected community groups in discussions on internet access, the open internet, and online privacy. The full letter can be found here.

The signers include a diverse group of technology policy, civil rights, media, racial justice, consumers’ rights, and community advocacy organizations concerned with ensuring that both parties prioritize internet and technology policies that promote opportunity and free expression for all.

The letter comes as both parties meet with stakeholders in Washington this week to begin developing their platforms. The media reports that the RNC will hold meetings with representatives from the telecom and tech industries today, and the DNC will hold a forum for testimony later this week.

The groups emphasize that a free, open, and accessible internet supports the policy goals of both parties, serving as a tool with wide-ranging economic, social, and civic benefits that all should share.

“Today, access to the internet is essential, not a luxury,” the letter reads. “Students across the country rely on it to advance their education, and adults use it to find jobs, start new businesses, and participate in our democracy. A free and open internet is an engine of economic growth, healthcare modernization, and social movements and change, and it is crucial that we protect the personal information and rights of all Americans to communicate.”

The letter was sent today to DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, DNC Platform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, and RNC Committee Platform Chairman Senator John Barrasso, and Co-Chairs Governor Mary Fallin and Representative Virginia Foxx.