In recent weeks, members of the Handmade Toy Alliance have met with members of Congress in Washington to call for amendments to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). There is now a draft bill pending, which may or may not be taken up for discussion. This bill would ease restrictions for small-batch makers of handmade toys and small retailers of natural toys like Bella Luna Toys, and could prevent hundreds of toy makers and retailers from going out of business due to strict restrictions, originally aimed at large scale manufacturers of toys produced overseas.

Cecilia Leibovitz, owner of Craftsbury Kids and president of the Handmade Toy Alliance, a grassroots organization advocating for makers of small batch children’s products, has sent out this urgent call for action to bring the discussion before Congress and to help save handmade toys and keep their sale legal in the U.S. I am happy to share her appeal here, and urge all of you who believe in safe, quality handcrafted toys to join me in taking action!

Handmade Toy Alliance

Republicans and Democrats disagree on a CPSIA amendment that would offer relief to thousands of small batch children’s product makers.

Will small batch makers and specialty retailers of children’s products survive the CPSIA? This has always been the question, and as from the beginning, this law has left us suddenly on the verge of extinction. Eighteen months of hard work has resulted at least in recognition of the fact that our preservation was not considered when this law was passed. However, we are still very much endangered, and action is needed now more than ever.

Thanks to the collective voices of American small businesses and citizens, we were heard by the media and our representatives, and could not be ignored. Once again, we must raise our voices, to prevent handmade children’s products from becoming a casualty of Washington’s inner partisan disagreements.

Recently a bill was introduced by the Department of Energy and Commerce, to amend the CPSIA, offering important relief to thousands of small batch business owners. This relief would prevent many from closing their doors. Democrats and Republicans in Washington cannot see eye to eye on the need for the proposed agreement.

We need to tell our representatives today that it is time to take a stand, and show their commitment to keeping our businesses alive. We at the Handmade Toy Alliance urge you to call your representative in the House Commerce Committee and ask for the CPSIA draft bill to go to mark up and become open for discussion. We have been told time and time again, that we must call, call, and call if we are to be heard. The combined power of our voices is what it will take to keep small batch children’s products from becoming a distant memory in America. Please help! Contact the Minority side at 202-225-3641, and Majority side at 202-225-2927. You are likely to get an answering machine. Leave your name, city, state, House Representative’s name and urge that they must work together openly in committee to bring about an amendment to the CPSIA now.

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