Welcome to my first Blogpost! Sorry I am so late to join the 21st Century . . . .
As we return to reality in the New Year of 2009, we find ourselves a mere five weeks away from the dreaded February 10th deadline for the new lead and phthalate standards. The battle against this law has been hard fought, the problems real and still threatening, and we haven't yet won significant support from Congress for relief. Nonetheless, despite the long odds, we are being heard and the chances of help are rising. The media coverage has definitely shifted in our direction in the last few weeks (see www.learningresources.com/CPSIA, Kathleen Fasanella's http://www.fashion-incubator.com/ and Rob Wilson's http://www.cpsia-central.ning.com/, among other sites documenting the tide of media coverage focusing on the dark side of the CPSIA). Legislators and their staffers are taking our calls and reading our mail. More importantly, they are reading YOURS. The voices of the people - you - are being heard. A good example: Steve Lamar of the AAFA reports more than 7,500 emails to Congress sent through their trade association website (2,500 since Friday!). See http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/issues/alert/?alertid=12274476. Simply amazing. Others, like Dan Marshall of the Handmade Toy Alliance, are generating tremendous buzz and interest. Check out their proposal on http://www.change.org/ and vote to support it (http://www.change.org/ideas/view/save_handmade_toys_from_the_cpsia).
The great news about the media shift is that we are finally getting recognition that this law is not really about safety - it's about penalties for transgressions. The focus was never really on safety because no one can really say what specific harm the law is trying to prevent. "Everything" is the cop-out answer. By stretching the range of the law beyond common sense limits, the safety effectiveness of the law was destroyed. All that's left is retribution and revenge, not exactly an economic stimulus package. Even the mindnumbing complexity of the hastily-drafted law is a huge practical problem, as anyone attempting to comply can tell you. Unfortunately, the casualty will be the many wonderful, needed and safe products being restricted or likely killed by this law. Is that what we want? More importantly, is that what we want for our children? For those of us who are mission-driven, heart-felt participants in the kid business, this is tough to swallow. It's time to push all the chips in the center of the table and ACT.
You can make a big difference by writing your Congressman and your Senators to express your concern about the CPSIA. Call them, fax them, email them - again and again. They need to HEAR you. Watch this space for talking points and ideas for letters.
Finally, please help build this community by passing along a link to this community. Thanks so much.