MediaJustice

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Contact: Madison Cofield, [email protected], 412.807.1777

MediaJustice Calls for Gigi Sohn’s Urgent FCC Confirmation ahead of August Recess

Washington, DC — Political gridlock has left the country without a fully functioning Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for over a year, leaving the agency hamstrung to take meaningful action on systemic inequities in the telecommunications industry. Now, with less than two weeks before Congress adjourns for their August recess, the likelihood of Gigi’s Sohn’s confirmation as Commissioner is waning.

Said Steven Renderos, Executive Director of MediaJustice:

“For over a year, Congressional leadership has left us without a functioning Federal Communications Commission capable of addressing the harms of digital discrimination and digital redlining.

The FCC plays a critical role in making sure everyone can stay connected using the communication tools of our time. Nowhere is this more crucial than in communities of color facing, who are a disproportionate amount of harm. As a confirmed commissioner, Gigi Sohn would have unique insight to set regulations that respect and advance the rights of Black and brown communities in the digital age.

“As senior counsel to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Sohn met with delegations of impacted people. Drawing from those meetings, she worked towards policies that advanced our communications access and power. In Sohn’s time at the FCC, the Commission lowered the cost of calls between incarcerated people and their loved ones; expanded the Lifeline program, bringing millions of low-income families online; and passed Net Neutrality rules to provide equal access to information regardless of one’s income or zip code.

“For years carriers intentionally have made discriminatory choices, magnifying already existing racial inequalities and prioritizing profits over people. No other industry, from airlines to medicine to food, enjoys this level of exploitive power because they all have regulators that oversee their practices. Thoughtful regulation is long overdue. 

“Gigi Sohn has dedicated her career to defending the public interest, bringing the voice of everyday people into what were once closed door meetings regarding communications and technology policy. Congress must take action and confirm Sohn as FCC Commissioner now.”

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MediaJustice is dedicated to building a grassroots movement for a more just and participatory media—fighting for racial, economic, and gender justice in a digital age. MediaJustice boldly advances communication rights, access, and power for communities harmed by persistent dehumanization, discrimination and disadvantage. Home of the #MediaJusticeNetwork, comprised of more than 100 grassroots partners, we envision a future where everyone is connected, represented, and free.

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