by Sarah Cortes - Congresswoman Donna Edwards of the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, with oversight of the Net Neutrality bill, addressed the National Media Reform Conference at the Seaport Hotel tonight. Edwards, who represents Maryland's 4th Congressional District, noted that last night's threatened government shutdown almost prevented her attendance at the local event. She spoke of her opposition to the "anti"-net neutrality bill which cleared the US House of Representatives yesterday, but which has inadequate support in the Senate. The bill would allow internet service providers to block certain websites, by reversing Federal Communications Commission rules. Net neutrality rules were recently implemented by Obama's FCC Director Michael Copps, who also addressed tonight's conference at the keynote session. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who also opposes the anti-net neutrality bill, addressed the NMR conference yesterday.
Edwards became a bit of a Cinderella story when she defeated longtime incumbent Al Wynn in 2008 with 85% of the vote. The first female African-American elected to Congress in Maryland, she previously co-founded and served as executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.