In June, 2014 with Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) as the sponsor and Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) as co-sponsor, HR 4969 – the “Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014” – was introduced into the 113th Congress. This bipartisan effort would direct the FCC to extend the “reasonable accommodation” provisions for amateur radio antennas to include all types of land-use regulation, including deed restrictions and restrictive covenants.
If enacted, HR 4969 would direct the FCC to extend the the reasonable accommodation protections to those amateurs who are living in deed-restricted communities. Known as “CC&Rs” (covenants, conditions and restrictions), these are the prohibitions and limitations placed on properties by builders or home-owner associations (HOAs) which prevent licensed amateur radio operators from erecting even modest antennas.
The ARRL is asking all members to contact their members of the US House of Representatives to state their support for HR 4969 and to ask their representatives to sign on as co-sponsors of the bill.
The ARRL asks that letters be mailed to ARRL for delivery instead of simply mailing them directly to the Congressional offices, for two reasons: First, since the 9/11 attacks and subsequent security threats, all incoming mail to Congressional offices is first diverted to a holding area outside of Washington DC. Once at that facility, it undergoes a series of scans to test for a variety of problems. Only after it passes the security tests is it forwarded on to Capitol Hill for delivery. The delay in delivery is generally in the five- to seven-week range. The ARRL will hand-deliver to various congressional offices all letters mailed to the ARRL.
Second, when the ARRL’s Washington team delivers letters to a congressional office, it provides them an opportunity for at least a brief face-to-face meeting with some of the key staff members in each congressional office they visit. Each in-person meeting is another opportunity for the ARRL’s story to be told – and is another chance to answer questions that may arise.
Learn more about the bill and how to support it and see a sample support letter on the ARRL website.