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Message from Senator DeMint: Call Your Senators about the CPSIA

Feb 3, 2009

by Vanessa Bertozzi handmade and vintage goods

We received the following message from Senator Jim DeMint, who wanted to alert the Etsy community to the legislation he’s proposing. We urge concerned makers and collectors of children’s items to get their individual voices heard. Etsy is hopeful that discussion will lead to child safety and micro-entrepreneurship reinforcing each other.   

First, I would like to thank everyone for all the hard work you have done highlighting the many issues surrounding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for my colleagues. If it was not for your hard work, Capitol Hill would not be paying any attention to this issue. Save Handmade!

Like you, I was pleased to see the stay of the testing requirement that the Consumer Product Safety Commission provided last week, but I am deeply concerned that it will be inadequate in protecting your businesses. Reporters for the Wall Street Journal summed the situation up quite well when they stated, “unless Congress acts, retailers and manufacturers still won’t be allowed to sell products that don’t comply with tougher lead standards that are set to take effect on Feb. 10.” While postponing the testing requirements is welcome news I’m not sure how helpful it is if retailers are not willing to sell your products for fear of massive legal liability. Further, we have seen that some interest groups are trolling shops looking for non-compliant products. This rightly scares retailers. It likely will scare them enough to tell suppliers who haven’t had their products tested to take their goods elsewhere.

Something needs to be done. We need to continue the fight and fix the law.

As many of you know, last week I announced that I am planning to offer legislation to fix the problems contained in the CPSIA.   I’m not going to relist the changes here, but if you haven’t already visited the posting I would encourage you to visit my blog.

However, to make these changes a reality, I’m going to need your help. You need you to call your senator. The number for the switchboard at the U.S. Senate is (202) 224-3121. When you call, tell the operator what state you’re from and that you’d like to speak to one of your senators. Tell them where you are from. Explain how this new law will impact your life. Ask them to support the legislation I am proposing. And be sure to thank them for taking the time to talk with you.

Sending letters to the CPSC isn’t enough. The CPSC can’t fix this problem. Congress needs to act and it is you who must encourage them to do so.

Again, thanks so much for your help with this. I’m going to try my hardest to fix this issue, but I’m going to need your help.  Please continue to get the word out on this issue. My staff will continue to post updates on this issue on my blog and on twitter. Please keep an eye on my blog and follow my staffer’s twitter for further information.

See more posts on the CPSIA issue on the Etsy blog.

Visit the Buy Handmade blog for more news.


  • prettydreamer

    prettydreamer said 12 years ago

    Thanks for keeping us informed!

  • RocketScienceShop

    RocketScienceShop said 12 years ago

    Wow! Thanks for your help. I know that lots of Etsians have been working hard on this. I will be calling my Senators...

  • breadandroses

    breadandroses said 12 years ago

    Thank you for keeping us updated. Thank you Sen. DeMint for stepping up to the plate and proposing substative changes, not just delays. To reiterate: we all must contact our state senators asap!

  • BundleBaby

    BundleBaby said 12 years ago

    Thanks for this post with such relevant and useful information. I will continue to push forward with my calls and letters.

  • trafalgarssquare

    trafalgarssquare said 12 years ago

    I'm calling asap! thank you for your help, and if you had been my senator, I'd have voted for you! :)

  • bamdesigns

    bamdesigns said 12 years ago

    thanks for the post and the info- keep fighting the good fight

  • PhoterrificCards

    PhoterrificCards said 12 years ago

    Thank you for the update and links. I will share all information with others in my community. Many are uninformed of this law.

  • BabbidgePatch

    BabbidgePatch said 12 years ago

    Thank you for keeping the Etsy Community informed ~action is still needed!

  • OhFaro

    OhFaro said 12 years ago

    I called them both yesterday. Thank you Senator DeMint, and thank you etsy!

  • GoldtoneDesigns

    GoldtoneDesigns said 12 years ago

    ♥♥ ~~~Thank you for keeping us up to date Etsy~~~ ♥♥

  • woolies

    woolies said 12 years ago

    I'll be calling tomorrow! Thank you for posting this!!!

  • craftgasm

    craftgasm said 12 years ago

    I don't agree with pretty much anything else Senator DeMint has said, but way to go on this! Thanks for keeping us informed on developments, Etsy.

  • IcingOnTheCupcake

    IcingOnTheCupcake said 12 years ago

    Thank you for your support and the information!

  • OceanGrrl

    OceanGrrl said 12 years ago

    thanks for the info

  • babyannequilts

    babyannequilts said 12 years ago

    This is very hopeful news! Thanks for keeping us updated!!

  • MommysMonkey

    MommysMonkey said 12 years ago

    Thank you for the updates! As a Canadian I would love to know what I can do to help out? It affects all of the Etsy community and I want to do my part - any suggestions?

  • FlyingColors

    FlyingColors said 12 years ago

    Thank you Senator DeMint for your help on this delicate issue. I will be calling my Senator about your legislation proposal. Best regards :-)

  • RaeGun

    RaeGun said 12 years ago

    thanks for the update, this is very interesting. I'll be calling

  • WhimsicalMom

    WhimsicalMom said 12 years ago

    I plan to call them again:) Thank you Senator DeMint and Etsy!

  • kittytrishia

    kittytrishia said 12 years ago

    Thank you so much for your time and hard work on this issue that effects us all Senator DeMint, it is more then greatly appreciated!

  • TheCottageCheese

    TheCottageCheese said 12 years ago

    Thanks Senator DeMint for keeping this on your priority list!

  • StelmaDesigns

    StelmaDesigns said 12 years ago

    While I do not sell childrens items, I have sent a letter to my senator and will call them if need be. This is an issue we all need to help on. Thank you Senator DeMint!

  • gigglinggoldfish

    gigglinggoldfish said 12 years ago

    Thank you very much for the update.

  • dmollison

    dmollison said 12 years ago

    Thank you Senator DeMint! Your hard work on this matter is very appreciated. I will continue to push.

  • berdandbee

    berdandbee said 12 years ago

    This is great news for the toy manufacturing industry, who can now continue to flood the market with lead and phthalate-laden toys for our children to cuddle and suckle on. Thank you, Senator DeMint!

  • soule

    soule said 12 years ago

    START CALLING that number!!!!!

  • autumnsarrival

    autumnsarrival said 12 years ago

    What a good man!! I will be calling!!

  • ediekat

    ediekat said 12 years ago

    i am in there anything i can do to help? please let me know..and i will follow through..thanks..edie aka ediekat

  • MGMart

    MGMart said 12 years ago

    Thank you for the update!

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 12 years ago

    nice article, thanks

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen said 12 years ago

    Thank you to Senator Jim DeMint for letting the etsy American folks know exactly what to do!

  • pogoshop

    pogoshop said 12 years ago

    Any hope for those of us using up-cycled fabrics? Our wools or cotton cloth won't be certified. We all know a washed wool sweater is safe, but it looks like those of us who are recycling are going to fall between the exemption cracks here. What a shame to outlaw something safe for children and good for the environment they'll inherit.

  • bubbletime

    bubbletime said 12 years ago

    Oh my goodness, thank you so much Senator DeMint!!

  • MHolland

    MHolland said 12 years ago

    Thank you Senator DeMint from a South Carolinian etsian!

  • dillydolly

    dillydolly said 12 years ago

    Thank you, DeMint! Also and SC Etsian.

  • littlebirdcreations

    littlebirdcreations said 12 years ago

    Thank you Senator DeMint! And thank you Etsy!

  • elliettebaby

    elliettebaby said 12 years ago

    I just wrote to both of my senators encouraging them to approve these changes. Write or call your senator today!! They work for you, so speak your mind.

  • sweetirie

    sweetirie said 12 years ago

    WOW! It is great to hear a Senator so behind the little guys! Thank you Senator DeMint! I am not a maker of children's goodies myself, but I do support it and am hoping this can be stopped for the sake of handmade artists!

  • Karmacrochet

    Karmacrochet said 12 years ago

    Yay! I will be calling today when I get home. It is good to know that someone is listening. Thank you Senator DeMint!

  • ChristinaWard

    ChristinaWard said 12 years ago

    Just spoke to Sen Herb Kohl's office. Ask him to co-sponsor your bill. They said they will call DeMint's office to find out more....

  • HELICOPTERstudios

    HELICOPTERstudios said 12 years ago


  • hillstfr

    hillstfr said 12 years ago

    FYI - Senator DeMint intends to offer this amendment tomorrow (2/5/09).

  • anorangehat

    anorangehat said 12 years ago

    Hmmmmmm!Thanks for letting us know.

  • moonstr

    moonstr said 12 years ago

    thank YOU! and thanks for the fyi hillstfr!

  • thewhimsytrove

    thewhimsytrove said 12 years ago

    Generally not a huge fan of Senator DeMint, but hey. Sometimes the enemy of yr enemy is yr friend... Forwarding to a buncha people...

  • emmiscottageetsy

    emmiscottageetsy said 12 years ago

    Thank you so much... I just contacted my senator. We have to keep pushing forward.

  • rozzissweetpeas

    rozzissweetpeas said 12 years ago

    thanks for keeping us informed..yes we are still in the fight to get the law changed to protect babies and the handmade crafters who create for the babies...I am in touch with my senators and elected officials weekly now.

  • LadybugLimited

    LadybugLimited said 12 years ago

    I read about Sen. DeMint's legislation over the weekend and have contacted both of my senators. Let's get the word out Etsians! Thanks Sen. DeMint for bringing this into the spotlight here.

  • lovalview

    lovalview said 12 years ago

    Jim DeMint Has proposed legislation to amend the CPSIA and his cosponsors on the bill are Senators Brownback ( Kansas), Chambliss(Georgia), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Vitter (Louisiana, and Wicker (Mississippi). We need to keep pushing our legislators to support this legislation. Lets remind them all that if they are willing to approve $65 million dollars in the stimulus package to make sure people can have their TV, then they ought to be able to spare a few moments of their time to make sure that the parents of poor children can afford to buy them clothes and warm coats. Lets remind them that it will cost our government nothing to correct this overreaching legislation, but it will cost small business and economically challenged families everything if they do not act. Your letters to your legislators do make a difference. Send as many as you can, as often as you can. I have written my legislators every week on this issue and Jim DeMint responded!! One time I'm glad to claim my representative!!!! Again - KEEP THE LETTERS GOING. DON'T GIVE THEM A BREAK, LET THEM KNOW YOU WILL BE HEARD.

  • EnchantingBeautiful

    EnchantingBeautiful said 12 years ago

    cool thanks!

  • ship421

    ship421 said 11 years ago

    Being new to etsy I am concerned about all legislation that would affect the handmade communuity. I have had my finishes tested and it is not cheap. We had a "boatwagon" prototype shipped to Buffalo, NY and tested for the chemistry and physical safety issues of a hand made custom ride-on wagon. What we discovered is there are few if any paint products in your Local Lowes or Home Depo with lead. Its been disapearing for years... check out the labels. Its more squeeze on the little people. Public memory is sometimes short. Remember all the china lead loaded stuff sent last Chrismas ! Speak -up before we can't sell anything without a lab test. Thank you etsy

  • Tina669

    Tina669 said 11 years ago

    Thanks for this post with such relevant and useful information.

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