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Let's get Right to Repair passed!

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My name is Louis Rossmann; I run a laptop repair store,  advocate for Right to Repair, and teach component level electronics repair. I have started a 501c4 nonprofit called Repair Preservation Group Action Fund which seeks to get Right to Repair legislation passed, through a direct ballot initiative. Direct ballot initiatives allow citizens to vote on legislation. This way, people - NOT politicians, decide on whether something becomes a law.

Right to Repair is the concept that you should be able to choose who repairs the device you own. We believe you should not be stuck going back to the manufacturer or dealer because parts, chips, manuals or tools are restricted by the manufacturer. Right now, manufacturers collude with a number of companies on a regular basis to keep repair shops & end users from being able to buy parts to fix their devices, going so far as to restrict access to a battery charging IC - one of the most common chips to fail in modern consumer electronics!

Whether it's tractors used by farmers, medical equipment , military equipment , or consumer electronics , this is something that now affects everything we own.

Right to Repair legislation already exists in the automotive industry! This allows you to bring your car to an independent mechanic to have it serviced, so that you have an option besides the dealership(who doesn't always offer the most economically viable repair options to the consumer). It also was amended in 2020 to close a loophole - through direct ballot initiative 

I have been traveling and testifying at Right to Repair bill hearings for six years now. Sometimes, the politicians we speak to are uninterested in our cause. Sometimes they are, but cannot vote on the issue because other items come up in session that are seen as a higher priority. Sometimes they misinterpret the bill. Sometimes, the consumer protection chair runs a car dealership . In other cases, they just laugh us out of the room.

Can I be honest with you? I'm tired of being laughed out of the room, and it's about time we do something about it.

My audience has asked why we do not do a direct ballot initiative; it worked for the car people, right? It did - but it also cost them about 25 million dollars. This is a bit out of budget. The reason we have not done a ballot initiative is because they are very expensive!

I've reached out to the firm that was able to get a direct ballot initiative passed in MA for automotive Right to Repair. They were very helpful, and explained how & why it would cost $5,000,000-$20,000,000 to have a chance at success.

It is my hope that I can leverage the social media following I've amassed over the past 8 years, with a youtube channel of 1.56 million subscribers to be able to accomplish what they accomplished in the lower range of that 5-20 million that was estimated.

This craft allowed me to go from being in debt with $268 in my pocket to being financially secure with a sense of purpose. I have a new challenge everyday - and when I solve these challenges, I am able to bring customers back their lost memories through data recovery, & save them money through solving component level repair puzzles, all while making a good enough profit to pay a livable wage to those doing the work. I owe this industry everything - and want to ensure it is still here for another generation of technicians. Above all, I do not want to accept a future where we do not own anything, but are merely leasing it from the manufacturer until it breaks.

For this, I need your help. What I'd like to do with the funds raised from this campaign, is go for a direct ballot campaign in Massachusetts, retaining the firm that was used for Question 1 in 2020. They have already passed Right to Repair for automotive and when it was passed, it changed how car manufacturers dealt with repair shops throughout the United States. The deadline is in August to apply, and then this would be a ballot option in 2022, so we'd have a year and a half of campaigning & fundraising ahead of us. If we raise the money, we will do this - if we do not, we will go back to the traditional method of lobbying politicians on behalf of specific bills and hoping they pass it. But I am really hoping we raise what is necessary to do this via direct ballot.

I can't promise you victory - but I can promise that I will put in the most aggressive effort possible and that I will dedicate my life to this cause, taking priority over my business and youtube channel for the next two years.

Over the past eight years, with no budget, Right to Repair went from being a huh, what's that?  to something more people know about - just from me spouting off on a youtube channel that I upload to on a hobby basis. Let's make this a reality.

Edit; to be clear, if I reach my goal or within earshot of it, I intend to have Repair Preservation Group Action Fund retain Brian Hickey Associates to push for a Right to Repair direct ballot initiative in Massachusetts; the firm that did the direct ballot campaign for automotive right to repair successfully, and make it my job to support their efforts promoting the cause. If I do not reach my goal, we will conduct traditional lobbying efforts to support Right to Repair bills in states that have introduced legislation without going for a direct ballot initiative.

Edit 2; for those saying they want to see a draft bill, here is a basic, vague draft of what we are going for. We would be using these funds to finalize a draft. This was a combination of the MA automotive right to repair bill, mostly drafted by the excellent Kerry at iFixit, with modifications based on our concerns after speaking to other technicians, and people who have  businesses manufacturing electronic products to address their concerns. This obviously needs a lot of work from a firm that drafts legislation; Brian Hickey Associates are more than capable of handling this for us. You can very clearly tell where the lawyer ends, and the repair people writing ideas begins, but for people saying they want to see a draft to get an idea of where we are, this is it.


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Louis Rossmann
New York, NY

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