Yesterday brought good news on the proposed California legislation that I wrote about a few weeks ago. The California State Senate soundly defeated Senate Bill 920 – a testament to lawmakers’ commitment to small businesses who rely on directory advertising to get customers in the door.
California joins Colorado and other states that are rejecting the notion that government regulation of private advertising media is good for small business and a smart use of state resources.
We have worked over the past several weeks to educate lawmakers and others in the community about how this unnecessary government regulation not only unfairly targeted directory publishers among many advertising media, but also risked jobs and tax revenue at a time when the state of California could not afford it.
Directory publishers – many who work to provide information to niche communities like LGBT, Spanish-speaking and Chinese speaking residents – employ thousands of Californians and contribute millions in tax revenue to the state budget. They also perform a valuable service by providing a way for consumers and local businesses to connect.
As the legislators learned more about the service we offer to small businesses, and the steps we’ve taken to put in place programs that allow consumers to stop directory delivery if they choose, it became clear that passing this bill into law was not worth the risks it presented. While in many ways the opportunity to talk to so many Senators about our value has been extremely rewarding, it was also disheartening to encounter the bill’s sponsor resorting to name calling and spreading untruthful claims and erroneous statistics to try to pass this legislation for his own political gain.
Having said all that, it’s important to reiterate again that we strongly believe it doesn’t benefit anyone to deliver a directory to someone who doesn’t want one. In California, and across the United States, directory publishers remain committed to sustainability and good environmental stewardship. Our website, www.yellowpagesoptout.com, provides a central and convenient resource for residents who would like to limit or stop delivery to their residence. And to learn more about the efforts we’re making to reduce our environmental footprint, read our full 2010 Sustainability Report.