REMARKS AS PREPARED
Governor Kate Brown
Net Neutrality Bill Signing
April 9, 2018
Good morning! I’m Governor Kate Brown.
I want to thank several of our guests for joining us today. Let’s thank the House Majority Leader Williamson and Representative Keny-Guyer for their leadership on HB 4155. I want to thank Attorney General Rosenblum and Senator Dembrow for their advocacy. And thank you to Representative Barbara Smith-Warner and Representative Andrea Salinas for joining us today.
And thank you so much to Mount Tabor Middle School for having me here today. I’m very proud to be signing Oregon’s net neutrality bill into law.
I’m even prouder that it was passed in part due to active support from students who used their voices to advocate on an issue they felt strongly about.
As one of them said to the legislature in her testimony, “When kids get involved, you know someone really screwed up.”
I’ve been really inspired over the past few months by students across the country getting involved in a variety of issues, driving action as well as conversation. It bodes well for the future of our democracy.
And the internet is a key forum for that. It’s also an invaluable tool for education, which is why it’s so important that it remains open and accessible for everyone.
For hundreds of years, libraries like this one were a rare resource, and few people had access to them. The internet has democratized knowledge, putting it in reach of many more.
When the federal government repealed net neutrality, they took a step backward. In Oregon, we want to move forward, to make sure that the internet is a level playing field, instead of exacerbating economic disparity.
We want to make sure consumers can reach our small businesses, and that they can compete in a fair marketplace.
We want to make sure that our students can hear independent voices and share their own without interference.
Because there is no price tag on free speech.
And while access to information has shifted from opening a book to opening a browser, we can never, ever take that for granted.
The legislation I’m about to sign is just one way to show that we will keep on fighting for education and for fairness. Are you with me?