There is a lot going on in the CPSIA advocacy area. It's time for an update!
The April 1 Fly-In, Rally and Congressional Briefing:
When/Where: The Rally is set for Wednesday, April 1 at 10 AM EST at the Capitol Visitors Center in Rooms HVC201 A&B. Details on how to get there are found at http://amendthecpsia.com/2009/03/maps-directions-capitol-complex-and-event-room/. The Rally will last 1.5 - 2 hours, and afterwards many of us will go on legislative visits.
Who Will Be There? We have invited all 535 Congressmen and Senators, the CPSC, media and the public. At the moment, we have confirmed that five Representatives (Barton, Blackburn, Gingrey, Stearns and Whitfield), one Senator (DeMint) and Governor John Engler (CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers) will address the Rally. We are in discussions with others members of Congress, as well. The line-up of speakers is extensive, from many industries and will include scientists, as well. The list of Sponsors is growing every day - check the website for regular updates: http://amendthecpsia.com/2009/03/event-sponsors/.
Website: I urge you to explore our exciting Rally website, http://www.amendthecpsia.com/. This brand new, content-packed website is constantly being updated and has wonderful resources, blogs and links to put you in contact with the community of CPSIA protestors. You will be amazed at how diverse and committed the community is - explore and learn!
Subscribe and Register: To receive regular updates from the website, you need to SUBSCRIBE. This is easy - just complete this screen and follow the instructions: http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=AmendtheCPSIARally&loc=en_US. If you are attending the Rally, we would appreciate it if you would kindly register: http://amendthecpsia.com/registration/.
How To Participate if You Cannot Attend in Person: We are providing a LIVE webcasting of the Rally at our website http://www.amendthecpsia.com/. There will be a live video and audio feed direct from the Rally. If you must be away from the computer, we will also provide an audio feed by phone (call 312-878-0222, access code 656-413-666). [We will post the video and audio afterwards if you want to watch the Rally later.] The website will allow you to pose questions for the speakers (although Q&A time may be short, unfortunately). Another interesting event feature will be a Twitter.com dialog box on our website home page where Twitter reporters can post "tweets" about both the Rally as it happens, and meetings with legislators before and after the Rally. You can be a Twitter reporter, too - everyone experiencing this event can contribute. You may want to monitor the Twitter dialog box throughout the day to see reactions to the event, and to follow fast breaking developments and on-the-spot reporting. Finally, we are inviting written testimony from the speakers, as well as from any interested party (see http://amendthecpsia.com/call-for-testimony/). There are many ways to participate - this event is for EVERYONE.
It is worth noting that an inspiration for this Rally was our strong feeling of exclusion from the legislative process. Even getting our opinions on the record proved IMPOSSIBLE. Ultimately, it became clear that the only way we could get on the record was to create our OWN record. Thus, the Rally! It is interesting to reflect on this event as a demonstration of true democratic principles at work, a Civics lesson for those who would exclude us. The totally open platform, shared worldwide via the Internet LIVE for all to see and for all to participate in, is intended to set an example for involving interested parties in the legislative process. We are opening up our record for anyone to contribute written testimony - an open debate means an open record, so I hope you will avail yourself of the opportunity to go on record and be heard. Let this expression of true democracy, government by the People, be heard in Washington by the legislators who will determine our fate!
GEAR! You can support the event and show where you stand by purchasing Amend The CPSIA Gear at http://www.cafepress.com/AmendCPSIA. Thank you for showing your support!
Dingell Letters: You and many other people answered the call to respond to Rep. John Dingell's March 4th letter to the Commissioners of the CPSC. We met his short deadline of March 13 with more than 150 pages of replies. The honesty and compelling nature of these letters has certainly left Mr. Dingell with lots to think about. Thank you for participating in this important letter-writing process. We are posting some of these letters on our website http://www.amendthecpsia.com/.
CPSC Calls for Comments: Please keep monitoring http://www.cpsc.gov/ for the CPSC's open calls for comment. The dreaded tracking label implementing rules are being considered right now, with a pending request for comments. Make your opinion heard!
Surveys: Finally, please be sure to follow up on the economic survey put out by the AAFA. I addressed this in my March 19 letter. The survey links are as follows and ARE DUE BY MARCH 31. The more participation, the better for all of us.
For Manufacturers/Wholesalers, etc: