If You Missed It: The Future of the Internet Town Hall

By Tracy Dingmann

If you missed Tuesday’s town hall in Albuquerque with Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Copps on the Future of the Internet, you can catch up right here with these links.

The event was sponsored by the organizations The Center for Media Justice, Media Literacy Project and Free Press.

Writing at NMFBIHOP.com, Claus Whiteacre said:

Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps spoke to hundreds of supporters about the need for net neutrality Tuesday evening at the Albuquerque Journal Theater at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

Net neutrality is the principle that all content on the internet should be treated equally, and that internet service providers cannot discriminate between different types of content.

“When broadcast came about the corporation said ‘trust us.’ When previous FCC commissions removed limits on media consolidation we were told ‘trust us.’ With this new medium they are saying ‘trust us,'” Copps said.

Andrea Quijada, the Executive Director of the Media Literacy Project, served as the MC for the evening. She shared how an open internet is needed for the most basic of services.

“With 30 of our 33 counties being medically underserved, we know that the internet is not just about civic participation,” Quijada said. “With a state poverty rate at 19 percent we know that the internet is not just about access.”

“America cannot have a digital divide, this is an injustice for those that have been too long denied,” Copps said in his speech.

George Lujan of the SouthWest Organizing Project gave his account at ElGritoNM.org:

Perspectives from the community included single mothers explaining how the internet allows them to provide a strong sense of family; students detailing how far they have to drive just to finish nightly assignments; local artists and slam poets offering a cultural perspective; professionals trying to bring the online world to offline communities.

The point was clear- we need an open internet, we deserve an open internet, and now we demand an open internet.

Finally, those who would like to see an accounting of the entire event can visit this link to the webcast at SaveTheInternet.com.

Not St. Pete!

By Tracy Dingmann

We like this post from blogger Matt Reichbach, who blogs at NMFBIHOP.com and writes occasionally at the New Mexico Independent.

In the post from NMFBIHOP last night, Reichbach linked to an interesting post from the SEIU blog. The SEIU post that noted that, under the drive currently being pushed by some U.S. lawmakers to revoke the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and withdraw citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants who are born in America – former New Mexico U.S. Senator Pete Domenici would have not been considered an U.S. citizen.

That’s St. Pete to all you old-timers who remember how Domenici brought home the bacon for New Mexico all those years.

Here’s an explanation of Domenici’s situation, from the SEIU blog:

Former GOP Senator Pete Domenici’s (born in U.S. May 7, 1932)
In 2007 on the Senate floor, Sen. Domenici (R-NM) recounted his mother’s arrest by immigration agents, after unwittingly learning she was an undocumented immigrant. “I wish to tell about both my parents who came to this country as aliens… one day during the Second World War, [my mom] was arrested by several men who came in black cars to the backdoor while we four children were playing with marbles… [USA Today, 6/4/07]

Under Pearce’s world “order” Domenici would have been deported back to his parents’ native Italy and not gone on to serve six terms as a Republican Senator for New Mexico.

According to the New York Times, “Domenici said he decided to tell his story when the hostile rhetoric about illegal immigrants started to boil. He said he wanted to remind his fellow Republicans that the sons and daughters of this century’s illegal immigrants could end up in the Senate one day, too. ‘I wasn’t trying to impress anybody,’ he said of his story. ‘I think it just puts a little heart and a little soul into this.'” [New York Times, 4/4/06]

SEIU says others who’d be deemed non-Americans under the proposal include former U.S. Atty General Alberto Gonzales, astronaut Jose Hernandez and Lousiania Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Just a little something for everyone to think about as they talk about immigration reform.