Oregon CSE’s Activists Help Modernize State’s Telecommunications Laws

In 1999, Oregon CSE’s (OR CSE’s) 10,000 volunteer activists won a major victory in the battle to modernize the state’s telecommunications marketplace. OR CSE worked with the state legislature to ensure passage of Senate Bill 622, legislation that provides Oregonians with greater choice and competition in their telecommunications marketplace.

The Executive Director of the Oregon Republican Party, Darrell Howard commented, “I can’t believe OR CSE was able to pass S.B. 622. It’s all due to your grassroots efforts.”

Throughout 1999, OR CSE built and strengthened its grassroots army; as a result, our activists are fortified to play an even larger role in future policy debates.

OR CSE staff and volunteer activists presented testimony before both state House and Senate Committees with jurisdiction over telecommunications issues. In addition, OR CSE staff met with several state legislators – including the State House Speaker, State House Majority Leader, chairman of the State Senate Business and Consumer Affairs Committee, and ranking members of the State House Commerce Committee – to discuss the benefits of deregulating telecommunications.

The House Commerce Committee chairman, Jim Hill, delivered an OR CSE video featuring “telecom testimonials” from eight rural activists to Governor Kitzhaber.

OR CSE generated more than 1,200 phone calls from grassroots activists urging Governor Kitzhaber to sign S.B. 622.

OR CSE staff and volunteer activists know how to get earned media. In all, OR CSE op-eds and letters to the editor were published in seven papers around the state including The Oregonian, and at least eight other newspaper stories featured OR CSE and our position on S.B. 622. OR CSE also conducted three editorial board visits with The Oregonian, Medford Mail Tribune, and Grant’s Pass Courier. Furthermore, OR CSE staff and activists appeared on 18 talk radio programs and two television news shows, including coverage on KOBI-TV (NBC) evening and morning news.

·Over the past year, OR CSE has recruited more than 1,000 new activists. Nearly 300 of those activists participated in more than twenty Oregon CSE activist training seminars. Leaders of the Republican Central Committee and the Libertarian Party have been so impressed with the program that they recommended the Oregon CSE seminar to their county organizations.