14 January 2009

Dear Senator/Representative...

Here is the letter that I just emailed to BOTH of my state Senators and to my Congressman:
(feel free to copy in whole or in part & mail to YOUR representatives!)

Dear _______________,

I felt that I should write to you concerning some legislation that you recently voted for, and how it is going to negatively affect me and dozens of my friends & family.
I'm speaking of H.R. 4040(CPSC Reform Act), which was passed on July 31, 2008. Please know that I am all for tougher standards to protect our children from dangerous chemicals and lead in their clothing, toys, etc. But I have several concerns about this act:

1) Rather than enforcing tighter restrictions on imported goods (as those from China -- the primary culprit), you are instead punishing the average American. Industry and home businesses have existed since the start of civilization. And now, this act proposes to revoke that privilege from many of us!

Here we are, in the middle of an economic crisis, and you are slamming the door of opportunity in the faces of those who are simply trying to stay afloat & make ends meet! Those of us who sell on eBay, or in consignment shops will be penalized. Those of us who create homemade goods such as quilts and baby blankets and custom clothing are being forced out of business -- in a time where there is little for us to turn to as another means of income! Did no one consider this? The average American cannot pay to have every item they make or sell on eBay tested and approved. If they could, they would not be running the home business to begin with!

2) Our landfills are already overflowing and the environment is a major concern for many of us. What is to happen to all the unused (and used) clothing, shoes, books, toys, and other items that can no longer be sold under this new legislation? They will end up in the ground! Our landfills cannot take this! Instead of encouraging clothing recycling (resell), you are actually encouraging people to throw away perfectly good clothing & other items simply because they cannot afford to have them tested! This is unconscionable.

3) What will happen to stores like GoodWill, Salvation Army, and America's Thrift where lower-income families shop in order to clothe their children? How will small, "Mom & Pop" stores fare in this new, hostile market? Sure, the big companies can afford the testing (WalMart, etc.), but most of these small American businesses cannot. Did that ever occur to you? And what about the whole idea of "Buy American"? How are we supposed to do that when you are stifling the creative productivity of the American people?

Yes, I have read the CPSIA very closely and I have noted the ambiguous terms and provisions. Supposedly, we who do resell (eBay, consignment, etc.) are not required to test. HOWEVER, we CAN be held liable if we inadvertently sell something that has been recalled or which has not been tested. Do you see how this could be a problem? I cannot afford to test every single item I sell, and even if I make a concentrated effort to monitor the RECALL lists, it is possible that something will slip my notice. I cannot afford the lawsuit nor the $100,000 fine that this legislation leaves me vulnerable to. Who could?

Finally, how do you propose that this legislation be enforced? By our already over-taxed police? Will they now be required to arrest that stay-at-home mom who sells her daughter's outgrown clothing to pay off her bills? Will they start ticketing every garage sale that includes items for children? Will grandma now be charged and fined for making little booties and blankets for the church bazaar?

Honestly, I am seriously questioning if anyone took the time to actually READ and CONSIDER the enormous implications of this legislation! I am all for making this world safer for our children, but if we end up causing these same children to live in a world where creativity and industry are frowned upon & stifled, are we really doing them any favor?

PLEASE work with us to repeal this legislation! It needs serious revision before it can go into effect!
Thank you so much for your time in reading this.
Summer A. Kelly

If you want to write to YOUR Senator(s) and Congressman, but aren't sure who they are or how to reach them, you can go HERE and HERE to find out!
Please help join in this fight!
Thank you.

1 comment:

Julie G said...

Great post!! So true. This new legislation defies logic.