When I ran for president, a free and open Internet made the impossible possible.
Grassroots supporters self-organized on the relatively new "Internet" and catapulted my candidacy into the national spotlight. Volunteers, bloggers, and small donors connected through the Internet, and very nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets in presidential campaign history -- which became the genesis for the founding of Democracy for America in 2004.
That was only the beginning. In the 10 years since, we have seen people use the Internet to create extraordinary, revolutionary change here in the United States and around the world. We elected Barack Obama president. Protesters in Tahrir Square in Egypt and the Maidan in Ukraine used a free and open Internet to overthrow oppressive regimes. They did not have to pay extra to use the bandwidth that carried the messages and videos that changed the world.
The Federal Communications Commission is now proposing to undermine the rules of the Internet that made all this possible. On May 15, the FCC is going to consider a proposal that would destroy Net Neutrality and allow the big telecoms to charge extra for carrying content. Taken to an extreme, their actions could result in political bloggers, news outlets, and even organizations like DFA being silenced because the powers that be don't like our message -- or because we can't pay their sky-high rates.
I am committed -- as are 63,709 Americans who have signed DFA's petition -- to Net Neutrality policies that preserve a free and open Internet. No matter what happens at the May 15 meeting, we are going to go on offense over the coming weeks to influence the FCC and Congress to adopt strong Net Neutrality rules -- and we can't do it without you.
The FCC vote on May 15 is coming up quickly -- and time is running out to ramp up our campaign to stop the corporate takeover of the Internet. Will you donate $3 to DFA today?
Here's why this matters. The participatory, inclusive nature of the Internet, particularly social networks, has enabled First Globals (also known as the Millennial generation) to make their voices heard on a larger scale. They connect across geographic, socio-economic, religious, and ethnic barriers, in many cases becoming more empathetic and more likely to act.
This phenomenon is reinforced by First Globals' parents, who, having lived through the tumultuous 1960's and 70's, encourage their First Global children to stand up for what they believe in and show them respect for doing so, thus imbuing them with a sense of responsibility and ambition to do good.
Together, across the generations, people are using a free and open Internet to overcome the barriers created by large corporations and oppressive regimes. The FCC's job ought to be helping that work continue. Their focus should be on pursuing regulations that strengthen Net Neutrality, rather than help the big corporations undermine it.
We can save Net Neutrality -- but we have to start organizing now. DFA is committed to mobilizing progressives to save a free and open Internet. Will you help us by donating $3 to DFA today?