MultDems Support Free Speech

At the April Central Committee meeting, Multnomah County Democrats passed a resolution opposing the “TikTok Ban”

As Biden signs legislation requiring TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to divest itself from China, and TikTok plans its pushback, MultDems are coming out in full support of free speech, noting how TikTok and other platforms are vital to small businesses in America, particularly for BIPOC companies and influencers.

TikTok influencer

At the April 2024 central committee meeting, PCPs voted 36 to 17 to oppose legislation such as S 686 Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act and Deterring America’s Technological Adversaries (DATA) Act HR 1153). The Senate and House recently tacked these measures onto a huge foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel, which Biden then signed.

PCP and HD 46 District Leader Brian Jensvold presented the MultDems resolution draft, which was co-signed by nine other PCPs. They convinced Central Committee members that the proposed restrictions “infringe upon Americans’ rights of freedom of speech, expression and association” and noted how crucial TikTok is for small business owners who don’t have large marketing budgets.

Portland's Unipiper on TikTok

Portland’s Unipiper has more than 75,000 followers on TikTok. He often urges his followers to vote.

They also noted that the new rules significantly expand the Executive Branch’s power to control what apps and technologies Americans can access, while limiting Americans’ ability to challenge those actions in court. The resolution adds, “At a time when a vocal, unelected minority of individuals are successfully purging our schools, libraries and other public places of art, literature, history and alternative perspectives… we need to stand up against such motions.”

Attempts to restrict TikTok and ByteDance over the past few years have been unsuccessful until now. A majority of Congress members supported these acts, due to rising concern about Chinese government surveillance of US citizens via apps like TikTok. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) has championed the bill, though opposition has come from legislators on both sides of the aisle, including Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rand Paul (R-KY.). Oregon House Representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Val Hoyle rightly voted against the measure.

Under the new rule, Chinese-owned ByteDance has nine months to sell Tiktok, or face a U.S. ban on the app. Tiktok’s CEO confirms they will challenge the new law in court.
Read the full MultDems Resolution in opposition HERE.

Image sources: IZEA, the Unipiper on TikTok