Pelosi Remarks at Press Conference in Support of California Senate Bill Enacting the Strongest Net Neutrality Protections in the Nation

Sep 18, 2018
Press Release

Contact: Taylor Griffin, 202-226-7616

San Francisco – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Senator Scott Wiener, firefighters, state legislators and community advocates in support of Senate Bill 822, which would enact the strongest net neutrality standards in the nation.  Below are the Leader’s remarks: 
Leader Pelosi.  Let us applaud Senator Scott Wiener for his great leadership to make legislation possible.  Thank you, Scott!
It was a joy to behold Scott, as a relatively new member of the State Senate, to take up this big cause for the American people.  Because while we’re talking about legislation in California, that will lead the way in the rest of the country.  
As Senator Wiener mentioned – he mentioned why this is so necessary.  This democratization of the Internet that cannot be – that the Trump Administration has tried to roll back.  But the California legislation not only restores it, but improves the access.  I want to say what an honor it is to be here with Tom O’Connor.  I’ve said it before.  Our firefighters are our nobility.  We owe them everything.  They risk their lives for us.  And they’ve been challenged in such an important way lately.  Every chance I get I want to salute them.  Thank you, Tom!  
And I want to call to everyone’s attention to a letter that was sponsored by [Congresswoman] Anna Eshoo.  Just in case you don’t know, Anna Eshoo in Washington, D.C. she is the queen of net neutrality.  She was the focal point, the fighter that got the decisions made that were so important to us that now the Trump Administration has reversed.  She was the top Democrat on the Internet and Technology Subcommittee of jurisdiction. 
Now she has – end of August she organized the letter expressing serious concerns regarding the declaration filed by the Santa County Fire Chief of the DC Circuit that Verizon throttled the unlimited data plan of the Santa Clara County Fire Department as it battled the Mendocino Complex Fire, the largest wildfire in the history of California.  Throttling directly violates core net neutrality principles.  This is where public safety and access to the Internet and no throttling involved are so important and I want to commend Congresswoman Eshoo in getting net neutrality principles that happen, but also taking to task those who would violate that.  
Again it’s a privilege to be here with so many leaders, again, Senator Scott Wiener who made this day possible.  Assemblyman Rob Bonta, Senator Nancy Skinner, Assemblyman David Chiu, Haleema [Bharoocha] who’s from Greenlining.  I join Senator Wiener in acknowledging the grassroots activism.  With all the maneuvering in Washington initially on net neutrality and in California, in the course of this legislation.  The maneuvering is important, the outside mobilization is essential to its success.  
But young people and people representing different aspects of our community knew how important this was, acted upon that knowledge and made the difference.  And I just want to further say, again I’ll associate myself with Senator Wiener’s remarks about how important this is in so many ways.  
But I do want to call attention to our Better Deal because in it we’re talking, in the Better Deal, we talk about a For The People agenda.  To have a plan to safeguard the open Internet through strong net neutrality protections.  To ensure nationwide competitive broadband options for consumers and small businesses.  And expand our Better Deal for Universal High-Speed Internet to bring broadband to every neighborhood, school and farm, closing the urban-rural broadband divide and unlocking the economic potential of every community.
And in that regard of the urban-rural divide, I just want to quote a letter from the chair of the Rural Caucus of the California Democratic Party, delivered to me by my daughter, Christine.  But the letter is from Joy Sterling, the chair of that.  
In the letter she said, ‘This is an area where California should lead [this net neutrality issue].  It is embarrassing that you can get high-speed Internet in the Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, and not in rural California.  The need for expanding rural broadband is irrefutable.  What’s needed is a sense of urgency, coupled with the clout to get the various stakeholders to work together.’  
Well when the Governor signs this bill, and I’m hoping that he will, on top of the really beautiful effort to pass this legislation, I was thinking of what the appropriate word was: challenging, uncertain.  Anyway, it ended up to be a beautiful effort because it was successful.  That means that California will lead the way not only in perpetuating the democratization of the Internet, but also taking it into rural areas.  So needed not only in our own state, but in the United States of America.  
And so now I’m going to yield back to Senator Wiener, who is running the show, as he ran the show to pass this legislation.  Pretty soon I’m sure we’ll be able to say congratulations, California, for leading the way on net neutrality.  
I yield back. 

# # #