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Democratic Women Press For Rosenworcel Chairwomanship

jessica rosenworcel
(Image credit: JohnStaleyPhoto.com )

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) has joined with over 30 other Democratic congresswomen to call on President Joe Biden to name acting FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel permanent chair, saying it's time their issues stopped being ignored

She would be the first woman to chair the FCC without the "acting" designation. Mignon Clyburn was the first female acting FCC chair.

“[Rosenworcel] has spent years raising the important voices and unique needs of women that have been ignored for far too long in technology and telecommunications policy,” the 33 members of Congress wrote in a letter to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. “Women make up half of our country’s population. We’re entrepreneurs, policymakers, mothers, consumers, patients, and professionals, and our needs have been ignored across every sector of society. In her eight years as a Commissioner of the FCC, Jessica Rosenworcel has elevated the voices and needs of women.”

Also Read: Rosenworcel Takes FCC Gavel

Acting Federal Communications Commission chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has sent a clear signal that she is still a big fan of network neutrality rules, and that she is no fan of the Trump administration petition to the agency to regulate social media using Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

That was made known as she presided over her first public meeting as acting chair last week, wielding the gavel from home and saying there was much on the FCC’s plate.

"We’re entrepreneurs, policymakers, mothers, consumers, patients, and professionals, and our needs have been ignored across every sector of society," the congresswoman said. "In her eight years as a Commissioner of the FCC, Jessica Rosenworcel has elevated the voices and needs of women." 

Also Read: Pressure Builds to Name FCC Chair

They provided the following samples of the issues she has championed

1. "Net Neutrality and Women Entrepreneurs: She has been a champion of protecting a free and open internet and has shown that repealing Obama-era net neutrality hurts women, especially women business owners. 

 2. "Lifeline and Domestic Violence Survivors: She strongly opposed the Trump FCC’s gutting of Lifeline, a program to subsidize phone and internet service of low-income Americans, by focusing on how the program is critical for domestic violence survivors.

 3. "Homework Gap and Mothers: She refocused the Digital Divide debate on one of its worst outcomes, the “Homework Gap,” a phrase she coined to describe the 17 million American children who lack access to high-speed internet.  This dynamic has worsened during the pandemic as mothers have had to take on the disproportionate burden of supervising remote learning.

 4. "Telehealth and Maternal Mortality: She laid out what the FCC can do to combat the shamefully high maternal mortality rates in our country, including the expansion of telehealth options available to pregnant women."

Naming Rosenworcel chair would only be the first step in pressing Democrats' ambitious agenda.  The President will need to nominate and confirm a third Democratic commissioner so there will be a Democratic majority.