National Advocacy and Labor Groups Urge Washington Leaders to Take a Stand Against Excessive 10DLC Restrictions Introduced by AT&T and T-Mobile

Dear President Biden, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Chairman Luján, and Chairman Doyle,

We write to bring your urgent attention to a set of pending regulations introduced by AT&T and T-Mobile called 10 Digit Long Code. This product — similarly known as 10DLC — will hinder the use of peer-to-peer text messaging by imposing restrictions on who organizations can text, limits how many texts organizations can send, fines organizations for non-compliance, and increases fees per message.

Though AT&T and T-Mobile claim 10DLC is intended to reduce unwanted text messages, these restrictions in actuality will quash grassroots advocacy, labor union organizing, and progressive movement building.

Moreover, these restrictions will limit the ability of advocacy nonprofits and labor unions to effectively communicate with their membership on local, state, and national levels to deliver urgent calls to action. Advocacy groups fighting on the frontlines of democracy would not be permitted to text constituents with pertinent information detailing where and how to vote. As communities continue to navigate the complexities of COVID-19, 10DLC would prevent local governments from texting residents with key updates on vaccinations.

While the texts from large multinational corporations are afforded special fast lanes by 10DLC, the texts from nonprofits and civic groups — more likely to operate in underserved minority and rural communities — will be heavily suppressed.

The signers of this letter collectively believe that peer-to-peer text messaging plays a fundamental role in activating everyday Americans by empowering organizations and nonprofits to bring advocacy directly to the people. Peer-to-peer text messaging delivers democracy promptly to individuals in communities where high-touch outreach may be difficult.

Moreover, this innovative form of communication has changed the political landscape in progressive campaigns and bolstered countless grassroots activists and organizations to promote equitable policies. Equally important, peer-to-peer texting is an essential method for labor unions to communicate with their memberships and organize new workplaces against oppressive management practices.

After four years of Donald Trump and his destructive policies, now is not the time to stifle the voice of American workers and obstruct the ongoing work of grassroots activists across the country. We strongly urge AT&T and T-Mobile to reconsider the damage that 10DLC will cause. We are also calling on leaders in Washington to exercise your executive and legislative authority to defend citizen engagement and call on AT&T and T-Mobile to reverse these restrictions.

With the decisive first 100 days of the new Biden administration underway, grassroots mobilization will play a fundamental role in shaping policy agendas and future elections. Our nation must harness this energy, not allow 10DLC to suppress it. There is simply too much at stake and too much work to be done.

Yours in service,

Ronald Newman, American Civil Liberties Union

Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers

Kimi Lee, Bay Rising

Nick Guthman, Blue Future

Campaign Workers Guild

Valerie Morales, Carolina Federation

Andrea Miller, Center for Common Ground

Jennifer Epps-Addison, Center for Popular Democracy

Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, Children’s Defense Fund

Rosemary Rivera, Citizen Action of New York

Robert Kraig, Citizen Action of Wisconsin

Mary Metzmeier, Communities United for Action

Kate Kahan, Community Change Action

Bob Fertik, Democrats.com LLC

A’shanti Gholar, Emerge America

Fran Hutchins, Equality Federation

Rev. Alvin Herring, Faith in Action

Katy Kiefer, Food & Water Watch

Amy Everitt, Golden State Opportunity

Tamara Levenson, Grassroots Democrats HQ

Adrienne Lowry, Greenpeace

Glynda Carr, Higher Heights for America

Justin Vest, Hometown Action

Adolfo Solorio, Living United for Change in Arizona

Jesse Graham, Maine People’s Alliance

Andrea Pringle, March On

Ken Whittaker, Michigan People’s Campaign

Caitlyn Adams, Missouri Jobs with Justice

Billy Wimsatt, Movement Voter Project

Erica Mauter, MoveOn

Ilyse Hogue, NARAL Pro-Choice America

Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network

Brian Silva, National Equality Action Team (NEAT)

Derrick Johnson, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

David Johns, National Black Justice Coalition

Don Calloway, National Voter Protection Action Fund

Griffin Sinclair-Wingate, New Hampshire Youth Movement

Melody Lopez, New York Civic Engagement Table

Lillie Catlin, NextGen America

Kayla Calkin, NRDC Action Fund

Liz Suk, Oakland Rising

Melissa Rubio, OneAmerica

Jennifer Ritter, ONE Northside

Hannah Burton Laurison, PA Stands Up

Carlos Vera, Pay Our Interns Action

James Bradach, People’s Action

Will Tanzman, The People’s Lobby

Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Sally Roberts Wilson, Rise Up WV

Emily Lee, San Francisco Rising

Kelly Holleran, Sierra Club

Lala Wu, Sister District

Christina Harvey, Stand Up America

Jasy Lata, Sunrise Movement

Adrienne Evans, United Action for Idaho

Terrysa Guerra, United for Respect

Debra Cleaver, VoteAmerica

Maurice Mitchell, Working Families Party

Derecka Mehrens, Working Partnerships USA

Jesse Barba, Young Invincibles

Cc: T-Mobile & AT&T

*More signers will be added to this official letter as support for this progressive movement continues to build momentum. So stay tuned! And please contact tyler@nvpactionfund.org if your organization is interested in joining.

We are a coalition of advocacy organizations and labor unions standing together to urge AT&T and T-Mobile to defend democracy by reversing #10DLC restrictions.