Wednesday, March 11, 2009
CPSIA - Rally and Open Hearing April 1 in Washington, D.C.
I am pleased to announce that on April 1 there will finally be an opportunity to go to Capitol Hill to tell Congress directly about the terrible impact of the CPSIA on our lives and businesses. Having been repeatedly denied the opportunity to explore the issues created by the CPSIA in public hearings by both the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Small Business since December, we have elected to organize our own rally and open hearings for this purpose. This unprecedented event is a true demonstration of democracy at work - the People will not be denied their say in this vitally important matter. The date - April Fool's Day - is ironic but the open hearing and rally are quite real and will be held on time with a full slate of speakers and a wide range of participants. This event will include support from numerous trade organizations and is expected to feature remarks by Members of Congress as well as scientists and representatives of various organizations affected by the legislation such as small businesses, libraries, charities and thrift stores. This event will also be open to the media.
The CPSIA was signed into law on August 14, 2008 and radically transformed the administration of children's product safety under U.S. law, converting a system based on risk assessment to one of precaution and fear of the unknown. The damaging unintended consequences of this change in law are being felt throughout the marketplace, and despite loud protests from many quarters, House and Senate leaders remain resolute in their support of an unmodified CPSIA. Public hearings on the negative impact of this law are long overdue, despite repeated requests for hearings from the CPSC, Members of Congress (including Reps. John Dingell, Joe Barton and George Radanovich of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Senators Bob Bennett, Carl Levin and Jim DeMint) and various other interested parties. The situation is intolerable and devastating. By calling this rally and open hearing, we are announcing an end to old school "closed door politics" and shining a light on a matter of critical public importance during a severe economic downturn.
The details of the rally and open hearing are still being finalized. The location is expected to be on Capitol Hill, and will include question and answer periods, as well as submission of written testimony. We will establish a website for this event, and will make the written materials available online. We hope to broadcast the hearings and rally live online and to provide interactive capabilities for public and media participation.
Please watch this space for updates. If you would like to help the team organizing this event, please write me at this special email address: email@example.com. [This email address may not be active for a day or two, so please resend your message if it does not go through.]
I hope you will join us at the rally and open hearings on April 1. The bigger the crowd, the bigger the statement to Congress. It’s time to openly discuss the problems in the CPSIA – see you in Washington in April!
Rick Woldenberg, Chairman
Alliance for Children’s Product Safety