Victory Toot Toot
Published October 1, 2018 / Updated August 5, 2020

Victory Toot Toot

A little celebration is in order in California

by Chris Thomas

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Alright, one toot-toot

Yesterday California’s governor signed the nation’s strictest Net Neutrality regulations into law. The bill had languished on Governor Brown’s desk right up to the 11th hour and Net Neutrality advocates were justifiably nervous.

To be clear, the California Governor doesn’t have a pocket veto like the President of the United States does: not signing a bill generally means that it becomes law, but the governor does have a regular-veto and delays in signing sometimes indicate an intent to veto.

Resistbot depends on Network Neutrality to exist, so we didn’t want that to happen. If you’re a Resistbot user and you live in California you probably got a message from us telling you about the bill and about the fact that the governor hadn’t signed it. Then we asked you to write to Governor Brown. Resistbot has supported delivery to governor’s offices in all 50 states for some time, but this was the first full-scale test of that capability.

And boy did you test it.

Statistics for Resistbot deliveries from California: 9/27–9/30

From September 27th to the signing deadline on September 30th, Californians delivered 6,531 letters to Governor Brown’s office…. by fax. (Sorry about that, Governor.) This in the midst of the Kavanaugh confirmation fight in which California Senator Dianne Feinstein plays a pivotal role.

The Governor endpoint is one of the most underutilized of Resistbot’s offerings, so this burst of traffic was significant. In the corresponding period in the previous week the ‘bot delivered just 46 letters to California Governor’s office.

Engagement on Net Neutrality prompted a 14,097% increase in letter volume to Governor Brown.

That is not a kidding-around volume of letters and while there is, of course, no way to be certain of why, Governor Brown signed SB-822 into law on September 30th as the deluge of correspondence from California Resistbotters was reaching its peak.

Of course, the fight isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot. The ink was scarcely dry on the bill when the Trump Administration’s Justice Department announced that it would sue California over the new law. The Courts, not the legislature, will determine exactly how that shakes out, but you can be quite sure that Governor Brown knows his constituents want him to defend the internet.

Tell Your Government What You Think

If you live in California and you want to send a “thank you” letter to your governor, Resistbot can help you out with that. If you’re not in the Golden State, you can always tell your governor to follow California’s lead. Just send the word governor to Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or as a Twitter direct message and the ‘bot will walk you through sending a letter to your governor’s office. If none of those work for you, Resistbot also supports old fashioned SMS: text governor to 50409 to get started. It takes 2 minutes to make a difference.

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