David Bonior, Congressman from Michigan (author inviting other Congressmen to sign on in support)
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington DC 20515
March 10, 1999
The Honorable William E Kennard
Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
1919 M Street NW
Washington DC 20554
Dear Chairman Kennard:
We are writing to commend the Commission for taking action on an issue
of great importance to us -- improving access to our airwaves for our local
communities. We have become increasingly
concerned about the growing concentration of the media in our country and are pleased that the
Commission is taking action to increase opportunities for local communities to use our radio
One of the fundamental tenets of our democracy is to ensure that diverse interests have opportunities to express themselves at different levels, and that they are not locked out in a monopolistic, globalized fashion. It is as fundamental as free speech. Radio is perhaps the most qualified of any media outlet to provide community access. It is a relatively inexpensive medium to produce and is well-suited to cover community issues and local music. Unfortunately, today's radio is the most concentrated and formulaic medium in the country. Providing licenses to low power FM radio stations would create new opportunities for local voices to be heard in their communities.
Allowing low power FM radio stations on the air would empower local
broadcasters to serve their
communities with a variety of new voices and services. Low power radio stations would be able to
address specific groups -- including minority groups, the religious community, and linguistic minorities -- and provide a forum for debate about important local issues.
These kinds of stations would strengthen community identity in urban
neighborhoods, rural towns and other communities which are currently too
small to win much attention from "mainstream,"
Further they would provide an outlet for the diverse, local voices and
musicians that are presently
priced out of the market. These stations would also provide advertising options for local businesses and increased employment opportunities in these communities.
The strong interest in independent radio stations shows that the creation of low power radio service would have wide support. The tremendous public demand for microradio is demonstrated by the proliferation of illegal radio stations, whose operators broadcast at the risk of financial losses and, in some cases, imprisonment.
Again, we applaud the Commission's willingness to address this issue.
We are hopeful that the
creation of a new class of low power FM radio service will soon become a reality. We look forward to working with you on making the airwaves more accessible to our local communities.
David E Bonior Democrat Michigan (Author)
Lincoln Diaz-Balart Republican Florida
Rosa L DeLauro Democrat Connecticut
Lucille Roybal-Allard Democrat California
James E Clyburn Democrat South Carolina
As well as Congresspersons :
Shows, G. Brown, Faleomavaega, Romero-Barcelo, Wynn, Schakowsky, Sandlin, Mink,Rivers,
Wexler, Hastings, Kaptur, DeFazio and Jackson-Lee.
NOTE: "Billy" Tauzin, Chair of the House Telecom Subcommittee, began reauthorization hearings of the FCC March 17th, THE DAY AFTER this letter went to the FCC. Tauzin had threatened this "renegade" agency with "reorganization", now we can witness the follow-through ... notice how the supporters of the LPRS are speaking first. It is a classic maneuver to have your opposition speak first so that they must "lay their cards on the table" and then Tauzin and opponents of the LPRS can leisurely swoop in with an attack.
NOTE: Supporters of the LPRS were "taken aback" by Tauzin's opposition
... odd until you realize that Tauzin's
daughter worked for the NAB at the same time he was criticizing the LPRS!!
That is like a judge hearing a case where the prosecutor is his daughter!
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