Culture of Repair

24 April 2019

The Honorable Susan Eggman
Room 4117
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: AB 1163 (Right to Repair)—SUPPORT

To Assemblymember Eggman and the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee:

On behalf of The Culture of Repair Project I write to urge you to advance AB 1163 (Eggman), amending existing CA law (Section 1793.03 of the Civil Code), and to support its quick passage by the California legislature.

There are few if any places in the United States not on its heels in regard to the environment, consumer protection, and the vitality of its local economy. Right to repair legislation works for all three, without compromising the legitimate interests of large business.

“Legitimate” interests are those captured in a context of robust capitalism, not by way of monopolizing an industry. “Legitimate” benefits accrue to businesses through ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness, all cultivated in competitive contexts, all good for the broad citizenry. Right to repair supports competition.

Right to repair legislation is non-partisan, aligned with Americans’ can-do spirit and the capacity to take care of oneself; and equally aligned with Americans’ concern with protecting the rights of the less powerful – both consumers and small business owners.

It is essential that independent repair stores not only survive, but return to playing vital roles in local economies. The well-being of communities requires a balance be struck between the advantages offered by large business, and good job-producing small business. Local ownership, diverse skills, opportunities for advancement and well-paying jobs are necessary for communities to flourish.

While right to repair legislation protects consumers’ interests, it does more: it supports people: Repairing something involves:

  • finding the issue,

  • understanding it,

  • researching and thinking through the approach,

  • finessing in the face of an obdurate break,

  • experiencing satisfaction and personal empowerment from putting something back in service, and

  • deepening person-to-person relationships through troubleshooting and head-scratching together.

These all enrich who we are both individually and as communities.

As for the environment, both the damage caused by toss-and-replace consumerism, and the increasingly severe consequences, are self-evident and urgently require action.

Right to repair legislation is about:

  • ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness,

  • can-do,

  • vitality of local economies,

  • good for the broad citizenry,

  • protecting the less-powerful, and

  • robust capitalism.

On behalf of The Culture of Repair Project, I urge the Committee to advance this legislation with confidence, furthering the well-being of the citizens of California, and demonstrating leadership to other state legislatures on this critical issue.

Thank you for your consideration.

Vita Wells