ARRL urges promoting passage of the Amateur Radio Parity Act, HR1301
Undoubtedly I’m in a minority about this topic because it is my considered opinion the “Amateur Radio Parity Act, HR1301” will be a public relations disaster for Amateur Radio. My other deeply rooted concern about this piece of legislation is it inserts the Federal Government, an organization we all know has only our best interests at heart, right into the middle of contracts between private parties. Oh, the motive seems sincere and, ostensibly, the Feds have only a role as mediators, but we all know how thoroughly limitations written into laws are respected by the Federal Government.
When HR 1301 was first introduced, I looked into the biographical information Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) had posted on his website. I was surprised by what WASN’T there – any mention of involvement with Amateur Radio at any point in his life. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. What I saw was a freshman Congressman introducing a bill with no context. I was, and remain, suspicious of the motives.
Why do I foresee public relations problems? Consider: You obtained your ham license many years ago. Maybe, like me, long before you were married or even had a job. The years passed and one day you found yourself looking for a place to retire. You always had visions of owning enough land to put in an antenna farm, but the spouse you acquired along the way insists on living in a restricted subdivision, one that happens to have an aggressive Homeowners’ Association (HOA).
No big deal you figure, the FCC has your back as you submit your proposed antenna project to the HOA. Back comes an immediate reply: “No way will you be allowed to erect any kind of antenna system because the contract you signed when you purchased your property says so.”
You respond, “Way. The Federal Government says you must ‘reasonably’ accommodate me.” After much haggling, probably involving lawyers, you successfully force approval of your project.
None of your neighbors has any interest in Amateur Radio other than the way it is affecting the purity of their neighborhood. From the outset of the dispute, the invitations to neighborhood gatherings dried up. No more invitations to backyard barbecues, golf games, book club meetings. You will have become a pariah. Which, by the way, requires only a two letter change in the title of the bill to make it “The Amateur Radio Pari
I didn’t mention the expected national media coverage of the dispute which is how the public relations disaster will be launched.
I hope I’m wrong. Only time will tell.
For your reference, below is the latest broadcast email from ARRL. They have been gushing over this bill since it was first introduced. It shows.
Whether you do as they ask and use their link to send their canned message to urge your Senator to vote to approve passage is up to you.
DISCLAIMER: I have personal experience dealing with HOA’s as a building contractor. My own home has room for the aforementioned antenna farm and no HOA.