CMSARA members Mike McKay N5DU and Frank Howell K4FMH have lobbied the Mississippi Congressional Delegation on behalf of amateur radio in the past. Jim Armstrong AK5J, as the Section’s State Government Liaison, has worked vigorously on these efforts in concert with them. These actions are paying dividends to both amateur operators in the Magnolia State but now also nationwide.
Frank K4FMH was recently able to convince the senior policy staff for Senator Roger Wicker’s office that H.R. 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, with 77 co-sponsors, was something that Senator Wicker should consider submitting in the Senate. He is the Chair of the Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The Subcommittee is responsible for oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Kay Craigie N3KN, ARRL President, led the follow-up by the League’s lobbying firm with Senator Wicker’s office. Mr. Wicker is listening. But he wants to know how much radio amateurs in the Magnolia State desire H.R. 1301 to become a piece of legislation in the Senate!Senator Wicker
Here’s the deal. The Senator wants you to fill his e-mail inbox with your support.
You can use this posting for sending the message, taking less than 5 minutes!
Go to this link in the Senate:
You will need to enter your address and zip code to authenticate that you’re a constituent, and you may need the “plus 4” digits of your zip code. Then fill in all the information and select “Miscellaneous” in the Subject Box and then just copy paste your message text in the Message Box. A suggested draft is listed below for you to just copy-and-paste if you want. Please ask Senator Wicker to sponsor a Senate version of HR-1301 in the message box. You may use the suggested email text below, or write something more personal if you’d like. If you live in a community with a homeowner’s association and have not been allowed to have an antenna, please inform him of this.
We hope that by getting member emails to his office, we can convince Senator Wicker to agree to sponsor the Senate companion Bill to H.R. 1301. There are fewer issues facing amateur radio greater than this one. There is no better time than now. Mississippi hams actually hold the cards on getting this done!
(copy and paste into the box on the Senator’s webpage):
Dear Senator Wicker,
I am a constituent in Mississippi and I want to bring an issue of great importance to your attention. I am a federally licensed Amateur Radio operator, one of over 2,500 who reside in Mississippi. We provide emergency communications support to first responders and disaster relief agencies following tornados and other natural disasters, at no cost to anyone. We also participate in public service events on behalf of our communities. Served agencies include FEMA, the Red Cross, Baptist Disaster Relief, Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, and the Department of Defense through its National Communications System. We also provide communications support to the United States military through the Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS). The importance of our noncommercial radio communications from stations installed at our residences is that they are always available when commercial and public safety communications systems break down. We also contribute to the development of telecommunications technology in the transition to digital systems.
We cannot do any of these things, however, without being able to place at least some form of outdoor antenna on our property. These can be aesthetically neutral but they are a necessary component of our ability to use our FCC licenses. Recently a bi-partisan Bill, H.R. 1301, was introduced in the House by Mr. Kinzinger(R-IL) and Mr. Courtney (D-CT) which would extend to private land use regulations a longstanding FCC policy now applicable only to municipal land use regulators. The policy would provide radio amateurs the ability to negotiate with subdivisions which now have restrictions that preclude Amateur Radio antennas completely, even a simple wire antenna in a tree that would never be seen by the community. The policy has worked very well for 30 years in the negotiation and application of local zoning ordinances to amateur radio antennas, but the policy must be applied evenly to all types of residential land use restrictions. It does not take any jurisdiction away from homeowners associations, but calls on them to provide reasonable accommodation for some type of outdoor antenna.
As your constituent, I am asking that you support the good work we do as Amateur Radio operators by sponsoring a Senate companion to H.R.1301.
YOUR NAME, CALL & ADDRESS