On Thursday, February 5, members of Congress and concerned citizens banded together to show their support for modernizing the legislation that governs the communications and technology sector.
Americans for Tax Reform highlighted the 19 year legislative lag by bringing a full replica of the Back to the Future DeLorean to Capitol Hill. Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, tweeted where the DeLorean was and praised Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) for their leadership on the #CommActUpdate throughout the day.
Members, Hill staff, reporters, trade groups, and passers-by who came to check out the DeLorean, got a handout on Telecommunications Act modernization and were encouraged to tweet their pictures with the handles #CommActUpdate and #19YrsAgo.
Several members of both chambers showed their support. Examples include, Chairmen John Thune (R-S,D.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.) stopped by, and Sen. Thune tweeted a picture of himself in the car.
Washington Post reporters Ed O’Keefe and Aaron Blake tweeted a photo of Representative Farenthold Blake Farenthold’s (R-Texas) in the car, with O’Keefe calling it the “Photo of the day!”
Will Anderson, Senior Legislative Assistant to Rep. David Scott (D-GA), and Corey Jacobson, who worked for former Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), tweeted their photos with the car, with Jacobson saying, “Creative campaign for #CommActUpdate: parking the DeLorean near Congress to remind us how tech has changed in 19yrs.”
The event received enormous positive feedback from the press including, The Washington Post, Roll Call, and the Daily Signal.
The Washington Post’s story “Congress is stuck in the past, says congressman in DeLorean time machine,” featured a photo of Representative Farenthold (R-Texas) in the car.
Roll Call also reported on the event in an article, “What Was The Deal With That DeLorean You Might Have Spotted Today?”
The Daily Signal came out to catch some video footage of McAuliffe and Marty McFly, and has a great collection of twitter photos to scroll through.
Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director of Digital Liberty, described the importance of this issue in an Op-Ed for The Hill that ran the same day. McAuliffe explains,
“Our communications laws have not seen an overhaul in 19 years. To say that a lot has happened in 19 years would be an understatement. The last time our nation’s telecommunications regulations were updated, Google didn’t exist.”
Americans for Tax Reform brought awareness to this issue by bringing a replica time machine to the Hill. This event displayed both how far technology has come and how far legislation that regulated technology has to come.
You can read Katie McAuliffe’s Op-Ed here.