[Nfbnet-members-list] Legislative Alert 8-3-2020

Pare, John JPare at nfb.org
Mon Aug 3 21:02:31 UTC 2020

Dear Federation Family:

I wanted to share some truly great news. We are up to 121 cosponsors on the Access Technology Affordability Act in the House and 24 in the Senate. This would not be possible without your calls, emails, and social media.

While we still need to build cosponsor support for the Access Technology Affordability Act, there are two new issues which need our immediate attention. Last week, on Wednesday, July 29, the House passed Sami's Law (H.R. 4686) without objection. This legislation will increase the safety of ridesharing apps and will ensure that these safety measures are nonvisually accessible. The National Federation of the Blind has worked closely with the sponsor of the bill, Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey, to make sure that blind rideshare users will not be excluded from the bill's additional safety measures. The bill has now been transmitted to the Senate for consideration, and we need to call or email every member of the Senate and urge them to pass H.R. 4686, Sami's Law.

The second urgent matter is one of the newly proposed COVID-19 relief bills in the Senate. The SAFE TO WORK Act, S. 4317 contains a section that would eliminate critical protections established in Titles I and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Please contact your senators and urge them to amend this harmful language out of S. 4317.

When you call or email your senators you might say something like:

"Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME], and I am a constituent of [SENATOR NAME]. I live in [CITY, STATE]. The House recently passed H.R. 4686, Sami's Law. This bill will make it safer for all people, including blind people, to use rideshare companies, and I urge you to vote in favor of this legislation when it is considered in the Senate. Additionally, I would strongly urge you to propose an amendment to strike Section 181(a)(1)(G) and Section 181(b) from S. 4317, the SAFE TO WORK Act. The language currently contained in Section 181 critically weakens the protections for disabled Americans set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Please ensure that the protections of the ADA are maintained by amending this legislation. Thank you."

It is critical that you contact your two senators on these two pieces of legislation as soon as possible, as the Senate is scheduled to enter its traditional August recess starting Friday, August 7. We don't want to miss the opportunity to get meaningful legislation passed and to prevent harmful legislation from becoming law.

You can contact your senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard and asking for the office in question. The number is 202-224-3121. If you email your senators, please copy Jeff Kaloc at jkaloc at nfb.org<mailto:jkaloc at nfb.org>. Your calls and emails do make a difference.

We recommend you call or email the legislative director in your senator's office. If you need the name and email of the appropriate staff person for any Senate or House office, please email Jesa Medders at jmedders at nfb.org<mailto:jmedders at nfb.org>.

Thank you.

John G. Paré Jr.
Executive Director for Advocacy and Policy
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
Telephone: (410) 659-9314, extension 2218
Cell phone: (410) 917-1965
Email: jpare at nfb.org

The National Federation of the Blind is a community of members and friends who believe in the hopes and dreams of the nation's blind. Every day we work together to help blind people live the lives they want.


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