Fed up with junk mail? A California lawmaker wants to make it easier to opt out of receiving unwanted solicitations via snail mail.
Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga, introduced Assembly Bill 2021 on Monday that would require the state attorney general to maintain a “do not contact” list containing telephone numbers and mail addresses of those who do not want to receive solicitations.
No such government-run registry currently exists federally or in California for mailing addresses.
“It is time California takes responsibility for the privacy of our residents,” Steinorth said. “Californians are completely at the mercy of these marketers. These days, you can hardly get through a meal or text your kids without getting interrupted.”
Currently, Californians wishing to receive less junk mail can contact the Data and Marketing Association, a national association of direct marketers, and ask to be removed from mailing lists, according to the Attorney General’s Office. However, not all marketers use DMA services, meaning junk mail may still flow to your home.
Marketers would be prohibited from calling or sending mail to those on the “do not contact” list beginning on the 31st day after the list becomes available, according to the bill. Solicitors who continue to contact residents within 30 days after being ordered to stop would have to pay residents up to $1,000 in penalties, according to the bill.
Exemptions would apply to some solicitors, including small-business owners contacting local customers, charitable organizations, creditors seeking to collect debt and sellers that have established relationships with their customers.
In addition, mail from lawmakers and political campaigns is not among the material restricted under AB 2021.
Steinorth said many of his constituents have expressed frustration with the onslaught of unsolicited calls and mail they receive. Nearly 26 million state residents were part of the National Do Not Call Registry in 2017, according to FTC data, which also showed Californians submitted 824,692 complaints related to unsolicited calls in 2017.
“We’re more exposed than ever before to identity theft,” Steinorth said. “By creating the California ‘do not contact’ list, we give privacy and peace of mind back to consumers.”