Advocating for the Right to Repair

Right to Repair (HB 2698):

Overview

If you can’t repair your own things, do you really own them? In a time of planned obsolescence where stuff is made to be broken, this bill will empower repair rather than disposal by requiring manufacturers to provide us with the tools and manuals we need to fix our broken things. We support repair because it:

  • reduces environmental damage by decreasing toxic eWaste;
  • increases access to affordable technology; and
  • supports small businesses and the local economy.

Update

The Right to Repair bill is dead for the 2021 legislative session. The bill did not have enough supportive votes to get out of its first committee. It is not for lack of trying — there was a ton of local support and continues to be a lot of national momentum for Right to Repair bills in other states. What really needs to happen is a National piece of legislation, although it hasn’t been noted that this is currently in the works. There will be an attempt to pass this through the State of Oregon next year. Stay tuned.

Another Update

Remember the National-level action we mentioned last time, well it may be on its way!  An Executive Order signed by Biden early July, following years of grassroots advocacy calling for the right to repair, “encourages the FTC to issue rules against anticompetitive restrictions on using independent repair shops or doing DIY repairs of your own devices and equipment” and is aimed at technology companies and agricultural equipment manufacturers. At this point, it’s unclear how the FTC will interpret this direction. Stay tuned.

A little more:

The right to repair is a national movement with good momentum. In the year 2021, there are 17 states including Oregon with a Right to Repair bill.

  • Here is a thorough fact sheet about the right to repair.
  • Here is a list of claims from the opposition and fact-based rebuttals from repair.org.

Read about the issue further:

How can I support it?

Write a letter to your legislator and tell them you support Right to Repair legislation. It is never a bad time to do this, even if there isn’t current legislation up for votes.

OSPIRG (Oregon State Public Interest Research Group) has made it easy. All you have to do is sign your name, but you can edit and write what you wish. It’s good to include your personal story related to repair. Have you struggled with repairing your things? Have you prolonged the life of your things because of repair?

You can read our testimony and others’ including those in support and in opposition here and here.