Save Lifeline: Telephone Subsidies for Rural, Tribal, Low-Income
The Rural Broadband Policy Group (RBPG), a working group from the National Rural Assembly, would like to make you aware of a last-minute opportunity to support the federal Lifeline program.
Lifeline is a government benefit program that provides discounts on monthly telephone service for eligible low-income consumers to help ensure they have the opportunities and security that telephone service affords, including being able to connect to jobs, family, and 911 services. In rural, Tribal, and low-income communities, Lifeline is literally a lifeline for residents. However, Lifeline has recently come under attack and cuts to the program have been proposed.
Tomorrow, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will host a hearing on the Lifeline program. RBPG would like to encourage you to share your opinion about the program and how it impacts your community.
Annually, the program helps millions of families across the country afford a basic telephone line. Lifeline is essential to the success of our country because it ensures that even the most unserved areas are safe, able to communicate, and included. RBPG believes that any cuts to Lifeline will leave rural communities more vulnerable and locked out from full participation.
Share your thoughts on Lifeline!
Contact members of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
Email a personal anecdote, or letter of support for Lifeline directly to Subcommittee staffer Margaret McCarthy.
For more information about the efforts of the Rural Broadband Policy Group, and about this specific issue, please contact Coordinator, Edyael Casaperalta.
Gustavo Gutierrez (via thirdw0rld)
“Hence the poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.” I get this.
I don’t have anything relevant to add—just that it’s 2:30 a. m. and I am worried for my neighbourhood. The local food bank almost had to shut down this month.
When you are poor
People won’t consider you a reliable source of information about your efforts. You are forever the leech, and no amount of words you can produce will change that.
People will either assume that the system is already in place, or that you are trying to game it. Can’t get source of income? I’m sorry, but you might not be eligible for those services that non-poor people think exist to help (or “enable”) you.
People will assume that the services that are available are suitable. While they’d never take their family member to the county MH office, they are shocked if you say that they aren’t suitble and you need help to get money for the other provider in the county.* They will think that if you are going to be picky, you need to just earn more.
People will second guess when you say that your SO, Brother, caregiver, room mate is abusive or harasses you. Or maybe they’ve just made life untenable. After all, if that were true wouldn’t you just move out? Or hire another caregiver. (Though maybe the caregiver is family, or a land lady, or the only one you can afford in the area.) And after all, there’s reason for the protection and advocacy centers isn’t there?
They will point out all the options they think exist, and give you a new label when you walk them through why you aren’t eligible for them, or why they cannot help you. After all, look at all these things that are supposed to help- surely you are “shooting them down” because you aren’t “reasonable” or are “unstable and paranoid” or maybe even a specific diagnosis.
And when you come to them with a solution? Maybe if they know you or even care for you, they will see some solutions as appalling, or as surely too hard or scary or whatever for you to do or “sink” to. Otherwise they might call you presumptuous, especially if it’s anything beyond you “pulling yourself up by your boot straps” and “getting on with life.”
ya know? (I’m venting, but it’s all true, and all things we hide behind that stiff upper lip or cheerful facade.)
*I’m rural too- so there’s an additional limit on resources or alternatives here.