News about the TSA "grope" policy have been spreading like wildfire and many hope that they will be the subject of a Senate TSA Oversight Hearing today. In case you haven't heard, they've implemented bodyscanners that take naked pictures of airline passengers. Those who refuse the scanner, either for privacy or for health concerns about the radiation, are subjected to an "enhanced pat down" which involves touching of breasts, inner thighs, and genitals. Apparently refusing both security measures -- even just by turning around and leaving the airport -- will leave you subject to a $10,000 fine.
The implications of requiring a TSA agent to either see or feel your genitals has left many in the trans community panicked. Online trans communities have lit up with concerns about holiday travel. I've heard from trans speakers and performers who are canceling gigs that would require them to fly. Personally, it's one of the few times I feel grateful to live by a small airport, which doesn't yet have body scanners.
Posted at flyertalk.com is a listing of the senate committee members and their chairs. This is one of our few opportunities to influence this policy before it becomes cemented. Please read the information under the cut and call the committee chairs regardless of your home state.
Please forward this information as widely as possible.
Jena Longo - Democratic Deputy Communications Director, (202) 224-8374
Nov 17 2010 10:00 AM
Russell Senate Office Building - 253
Contact the communications director to find out more information about the meeting.
The committee chair is Sen Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) phone (202) 224-6472. The ranking member is Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison 202-224-5922.
The subcommittee chair is Sen Byron L. Dorgon (D-ND) phone (202) 224-2551. The ranking member is Sen Jim DeMint (R-SC) phone (202) 224-6121.
Regardless of your home state, call the chairpersons to ask whether recent TSA abuses are on the agenda for the oversight hearing. Ask to speak with the staffer responsible for dealing with issues related to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
Here is a list of committee members, their homepage and phone number. If one of these people is your Senator, please also phone them, either at the number below or look online to find their nearest local office - you can even visit in person. A constituent who knows a senator's committee assignments and addresses issues for the agenda for a scheduled hearing gives him/herself an educated and powerful voice.
If none of these people is your senator, contact the committee chairs. Also contact your own senators and representative . They still need to hear your opinion, it's just that they won't be at this hearing.
D-AK Mark Begich (202) 224-3004
D-AR Mark Pryor (202) 224-2353
D-CA Barbara Boxer (202) 224-3553
D-FL Bill Nelson 202-224-5274
D-HI Daniel K. Inouye (202) 224.3934
D-MA John F. Kerry [(202) 224-2742
D-MN Amy Klobuchar 202-224-3244
D-MO Claire McCaskill 202-224-6154
D-ND Byron L. Dorgon phone (202) 224-2551
D-NJ Frank R. Lautenberg (973) 639-8700, (888) 398-1642
D-NM Tom Udall (202) 224-6621
D-VA Mark Warner 202-224-2023
D-WA Maria Cantwell 202-224-3441
D-WV Jay Rockefeller (202) 224-6472
R-FL George S. LeMieux (202) 224-3041
R-GA Johnny Isakson (202) 224-3643
R-KS Sam Brownback (202) 224-6521
R-LA David Vitter (202) 224-4623
R-ME Olympia J. Snowe (202) 224-5344, (800) 432-1599
R-MS Roger F. Wicker 202-224-6253
R-NE Mike Johanns (202) 224-4224
R-NV John Ensign (202) 224-6244
R-SC Jim DeMint phone (202) 224-6121
R-SD John Thune (202) 224-2321, 1-866-850-3855
R-TX Kay Bailey Hutchison 202-224-5922
This link has information on committee staff, as well.