Petition Closed
Petitioning Supervisor Mark Farrell and 10 others

Save the Right to Know cell phone legislation in San Francisco! AMEND, NOT REPEAL


In June, 2010 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors made history by being the first city in the nation to take action on the critical issue of cell phone radiation and the fact that it is related to development of certain brain tumors. After barely making it by many committees and intense deliberation the board passed the ordinance by a vote of 10-1! Then Mayor Newsom signed it into law and San Francisco was admired for this move around the world. France then passed the same legislation nationwide. Unfortunately the CTIA- wireless association sued the city and county of San Francisco over this ordinance in July and pulled future conventions from the city (they previously held their annual convention in San Francisco). The Mayor and the media said this was extortion and this city could not be bought. The ordinance is nicknamed the right to know ordinance as it was merely going to give consumers the right to know information concerning safe use, which the industry is already hiding in the box in tiny print which few read. All manuals are now stating that in order not to exceed FCC exposure limits one must never hold the phone directly to the body. For example the Blackberry says to keep the device .98 inches from the body , especially the lower abdomen of a teenager and the abdomen of a pregnant woman. The iphone says to hold the phone at least 5/8 of an inch from the body. So, the CTIA is bullying the entire nation with its tactics in San Francisco. Bravo San Francisco Board of Supervisors for caring about your citizens right to know to make informed choices for themselves and their families at point  of sale. This is America, no? Apparently not. The CTIA has now changed their lawsuit to allege that posting anything about this will violate the retailer's first amendment rights! And what about the rights of citizens? Cell phones emit radiation, studies have proven that with extended use there is a significant increase in one's risk, greatly higher if you start using one as a child. 75% of 10 year olds in the United States own a cell phone. 10 months later with implementation delayed, the city attorneys have been holding closed door meetings with the Board of Supervisors and this law may end up being repealed as they are afraid they may lose to this first amendment allegation. It is highly doubtful from other legal counsel we have asked that the CTIA first amendment claim will hold up in court. We need to implore upon the Board of Supervisors to amend (per language from their wonderful Dept. of Environment) to AMEND, NOT REPEAL. They cannot let this $4 trillion industry continue their lies and manipulation. With the release of the recent NIH Volkow study any judge will see right through this despicable industry. They know cell phones are killing people (as young as 25) and they care more about their bottom line and about their retailer's first amendment rights than they do about their costumer's lives!  San Francisco must continue to be the city that cannot be bought and sets a shining example for the rest of the world. This is a simple disclosure ordinance similar to posting calories and food content. Shame on the CTIA -perhaps they want to keep this quiet because they were denied liability insurance. I know the victims- there are many- this will catch up with this industry sooner than later.

Letter to
Supervisor Mark Farrell
Supervisor Jane Kim
Supervisor Malia Cohen
and 8 others
Supervisor Scott Wiener
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi
Supervisor Sean Elsbernd
Supervisor David Campos
Supervisor John Avalos
Supervisor Carmen Chu
Supervisor Eric Mar
President David Chiu
We implore upon you to AMEND, and not repeal the cell phone Right to Know ordinance. This policy making began in December, 2009 and much determination went into it at many levels before it came to you last June. Thank you for the fabulous 10-1 victory on this basic disclosure ordinance. What you and did was seen as heroic and groundbreaking around the world. In fact, France used you as a model and passed nationwide legislation just recently. They are not being challenged.
We understand the financial implications but here is the reality- you have excellent city attorneys who can beat the ludicrous first amendment claim the industry lawyers are alleging. Also, the long term health cost (which will hit in the next decade) to the county and city will be grandiose compared to any loss now. Based on information from other legal counsel this is a sham and it will not hold up in a court of law. Yes,other first amendment issues concerning corporations have been upheld by judges, but any judge will see right through this despicable industry who is hiding the truth inside the box in print below legal font size hoping no one sees it! The industry knows cell phones are causing cancer and they do not have liability insurance. San Francisco must continue to be the city that cannot be bought and continue to be the city to be in the forefront in setting policy concerning critical issues.
You are what makes San Francisco the great city it is and please do not fall prey to these bullies now. The CTIA is alleging the "materials that warn consumers about the possible negative effects of cell phone radiation" violates the first amendment. This legislation is not doing that. Follow the direction of the DOE and your attorneys, amend it appropriately and they lose on this allegation. And what harm are you bringing to the retailers? Will a judge truly think someone may not buy a phone in San Francisco if they are given materials concerning safe use or told to read their user guide? No, this will not hurt their business. They will sell more headsets! Your attorneys can win this lawsuit and the citizens not only of San Francisco, but the rest of the world will be indebted to you forever as you will be helping to save lives and allow legislation elsewhere. We all deserve the right to know to make informed choices for ourselves and our families with rapid access to data at point of sale. You have done the right thing and justice will prevail in the court of law. On behalf of Milton Marks (recently diagnosed with a brain tumor attributable to his cell phone use) and the thousands of other victims, please do the right thing now for those being exposed unknowingly daily. We beg of you to stick to the high morals of San Francisco, amend the ordinance with language from the DOE, and move forward with dignity and grace.
Bless you for what you have done and know you have the support of many worldwide who are willing to file amicus briefs and do whatever it takes to help San Francisco win this frivolous lawsuit.
Thank you - we leave our hearts in San Francisco- with you!