Do you wonder how we can reach folks in Virginia who are struggling economically? How we could send a message southwest Virginia coalfields, inner city Roanoke, and down in Norfolk that we care? And not just Virginia, but other struggling swing states. What would send a message instantly to millions of struggling working class folks?
By passing the Wright Petition that has languished at the FCC for over eight years and which would end an outrageous scheme by telecommunication companies that charges prisoner families what some of us pay in rent to simply talk to their loved one we can send a message to a forgotten America that they are supported.
A few weeks ago, I sat with Mrs. Martha Wright, of the Wright Petition, in her Northeast D.C. home and spoke with her about her decade-long struggle to win justice for prisoner families abused by telecommunication companies. Shocked by the exorbitant bills she was getting for accepting collect phone calls from a grandson in prison, Wright decided to fight back against big telephone.
More below the fold and a way to take action today!
She teamed up with other victims of prisoner-call price gouging to submit a petition to the Federal Communication Commission. It asked the agency to regulate these tele-traps---which can end up costing the loved ones of the incarcerated $18 for just 15 minutes of talk time.
Sadly, it's been as much ignored by the Obama administration as it was by the Bush administration, allowing the robber barons of the telecom industry to lift millions in profit.
In the meantime, I've spoken with families who,in order to keep in touch with incarcerated loved ones, have had to skip meals and put off buying medication. It is time for this practice to end. Today, hundreds of prisoner family members are calling the FCC to call for the Wright Petition to be passed, but they need support to have an impact and to send a message. Here is a simple script. Let us know how it went.
Join them by:
1) Calling the FCC on Wednesday June 20th. Dial 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322). You will need to press 4 and then press 0 to speak to an agent. Tell them you are calling as part of “Right to Call Home” Campaign. Here’s a script:
"It is costing me pennies to call you, but it would be cheaper to call Singapore on a cell phone than to call my father for in prison on Father's Day. Please end this practice. Grant the Wright petition in docket 96-128 and adopt final rules by Thanksgiving, so everyone can communicate with the ones they love."
Please feel free to add your own comments as well.
2) Tell us you called here: