Contact Your Local Representatives About the FCC

January 31, 2019

Following the longest U.S. government shutdown in history, the Federal Communications Commission is resuming work on Docket 05-311, the proposed policy that could defund community media throughout the country.

In light of this, we are calling on community members to contact their local U.S. House Representatives within the next 60 days, imploring them to voice their concern directly to the FCC.

For those in the greater Portland and Beaverton area, your local representatives are Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici.

Click here to view the complete directory of U.S. House Representatives.

Although email is the most convenient way to contact your representative, you may also reach them by phone: after finding out who your local representative is, you may call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to that congressperson. Once your call is answered, always let them know what specific issue you are calling them about.

Congresspeople need to hear your personal stories about how access to media creation technology and training has helped you, the impact it’s had on your community and why it’s important to protect funding for community media.

Here are some points we've prepared to help you get started on your comments:

  • Community media is a means for staying involved in City governance by having access to City Council meetings
  • It's one of the only remaining uncensored forums for the practice of first amendment rights to free speech, expression and religion
  • It provides opportunities for marginalized populations to connect, share, organize and work toward positive social change
  • It provides the community with a means for expressing and sharing the art and culture of our community
  • It provides those who don't have access to the internet and who can't afford higher education with vital technology skills, digital literacy, and a means for accessing low cost, online education opportunities

We also ask that community members insist House members to co-sponsor California Representative Anna Eshoo's HR 530, which overturns the FCC's wireless cell site regulations and restores the principle of local control over local property to meet local needs.

The Bill doesn't directly affect community media, but it supports the fundamental belief that local communities should control the use of their own property to support telecommunications — a key issue for every public, educational, and government access channel in the United States.

If you'd like to know more, please contact me via my info below!

Bea Bedard Community Media Advocacy Director bea [at] opensignalpdx.org (503) 673-8642

I work with Open Signal staff on community outreach and advocacy, data collection and analysis, and policy issues, in order to support everyone's ability to create and share content.

For 28 years, I have worked in community media and local origination television. In my spare time I follow media and internet regulatory policy to ensure we're compliant in a constantly changing environment.

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