New York could be the first state in the country to pass Right to Repair laws, if a bill currently in debate makes it to the floor this session. A lot of bills make it through during crunch time, and this one can make it if New York residents let their legislators know.
With a June 19 deadline, New York assembly people and senators need to hear from their constituents about how important this bill is: to their rights, to the environment, and to a fair market for skilled repair. Calling and speaking to their office is the best way to make a difference. Email if you must, but then you should also spread the word on your social channels. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, wherever you make waves: link to newyork.repair.org, or this link that specifically directs them to the calling app.
It’s Your Legislator’s Job to Listen to You
What do you say after you enter your phone number and ZIP code, and you get a call from the automatic system? I called my own assemblyperson and senator yesterday from the web app. It was easy. I told them my name, my number, and where I lived. Then I told them that I supported the Digital Fair Repair Act. That bill is S6309 in the Senate, A7416 in Assembly, but if you can’t remember the number, the name should help them find it.
After that, I just summed up why we shouldn’t be blocked from repairing stuff we bought:
- People deserve the right not to be blocked from fixing their stuff by corporate control measures.
- Repair shops are small businesses are hurt by restrictive controls on manuals, parts, and diagnostic tools.
- We are wasting money and generating unnecessary e-waste if we have to junk our devices because some companies want us to upgrade them instead of repair them.
- Farmers lose out big when their tractors can only be repaired by one company that charges a lot and costs them precious time.
You don’t have to hit all these points. In fact, if you have your own story about something you wanted to repair, or repaired after jumping through hoops, that’s even better. If you’re a small business owner, well, those stories tend to get their attention.
New York is a big state, and its passing, or just voting on, a Right to Repair bill could have a big impact. Massachusetts’ 2012 Right to Repair Initiative caused the automotive industry to agree to a nationwide standard for repair rights, rather than negotiate each states’ laws to follow.
Let’s see if we get New York lawmakers’ attention before they head out on summer vacation.
Title image by Matt Wade/Flickr.