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Announcement :: Media
Urgent action to save public access television
31 Mar 2005
Modified: 03:58:19 PM
Democracy Now! Media Action Alert
March 31, 2005
1. General Background about Public Access

Public Access Television, also called 3PEG2, for Public, Educational, and Government channels, exist in communities on cable television because media activists years ago said that if cable companies are going to come into our towns, dig up our streets, and get monopoly access to the homes, then we
should ask for something in return: fully-funded public access
television facilities and the channels on the local cable system to put out the shows.

Now, cable companies and State Legislatures are trying to rewrite the laws to put public access television at risk. There are several battleground states where this is happening. Hawaii and Arizona are facing potential crises right now.


Senate Bill 959 "Relating to Cable TV" will be heard by the House Finance Committee Today!

Large developers in Hawaii has expressed hostility to Akaku, Maui Community Television, partially due to the avenue it has offered citizens to criticize its major development projects. One of these developers, Everett Dowling, is behind the lobbying efforts to push forward legislation to severely
de-fund Akaku, which is a model public media center.

We all have interest in supporting public access facilities like Akaku, which allows local citizens to tell their own stories.

For more information, check Akaku1s website: <>;

and this independent media activist site - Hawaii Public Access Media: <>;

The Hawaii House Finance Committee will meet today at 2pm Hawaii time (5 hours behind EST). We urge you to contact the chair and members of this committee listed below and and let them know where you stand.

Please email key Hawaii State Senators and House Finance Committee Members. Please BLIND carbon copy (BCC) testimony to info (at) and outreach (at) THANKS!


To Members of the Hawaii State Legislature, I write to encourage you to oppose SB 959 "Relating to Cable Television" which will be voted on Thursday, March 31st at 2:00 p.m. in Conference Room 308, State Capitol.

Across the US there are attempts to weaken public access television. I ask you to resist a national trend of assaults on independent media, and specifically to resist these efforts in Hawaii by developers including Everett Dowling. It is so important that public officials stand up for and preserve independent media. Akaku is an important model for this and I
hope you will ensure it remains fully funded.

(make sure you include your state of residence)

Send To:

Senate President Bobby Bunda (senbunda (at)
<mailto:senbunda (at)> )

Senator Shan Tsutsui, Vice Chair of Ways and Means
(sentsutsui (at) <mailto:sentsutsui (at)> )

Senator Rosalyn Baker, Vice Chair of Commerce and Consumer Protection (senbaker (at) <mailto:senbaker (at)> )

Representative Dwight Y. Takamine - Hawaii House Finance Committee Chair (reptakamine (at) <mailto:reptakamine (at)> )

Representative Bertha C. Kawakami - Hawaii House Finance Committee Vice-Chair (repkawakami (at) <mailto:repkawakami (at)> )

CC Finance Committee Members:

repcarroll (at) <mailto:repcarroll (at)> ,

repchong (at) <mailto:repchong (at)> ,

repevans (at) <mailto:repevans (at)> ,

repkaramatsu (at)
<mailto:repkaramatsu (at)> ,

replee (at) <mailto:replee (at)> ,

repmagaoay (at) <mailto:repmagaoay (at)> ,

repnakasone (at) <mailto:repnakasone (at)>

repnishimoto (at)
<mailto:repnishimoto (at)> ,

reptanaka (at) <mailto:reptanaka (at)> ,

reptsuji (at) <mailto:reptsuji (at)> ,

repwakai (at) <mailto:repwakai (at)> ,

repyamane (at) <mailto:repyamane (at)> ,

repyamashita (at)
<mailto:repyamashita (at)> ,

repfox (at) <mailto:repfox (at)> ,

repmeyer (at) <mailto:repmeyer (at)> ,

repmoses (at) <mailto:repmoses (at)> ,

reppine (at) <mailto:reppine (at)>

3. Update and Action Alert: Help Save Public Access in Arizona

Cox Communications, the largest cable tv operator in Arizona and industry group the Arizona Cable Telecommunications Association are behind a full scale effort to reduce local government franchise fees, eliminate in kind services, and reduce PEG channel offerings by introducing legislative
proposals in the Arizona State Legislature, SB 1229 and HB 2563.

Since Democracy Now!1s first media action alert hundreds of you contacted Arizona senators and key members of Cox Cables Board of Directors to express that you do not agree with SB 1229 and HB 2563, which will strip away the funding mechanism that has worked for public access television and
funded numerous civic services.

HB2563, the cable industry's corporate welfare bill, has narrowly passed the House and has moved to the Senate despite your incredible help and our best effort. This bill will now be considered by committee and if we do not kill it now, it will continue on to the full Senate for a vote!

We must keep the pressure on! Full effort and focus now lies strictly with the Senate and the bill we are focusing on now is H2563.

Please act today! It is easy to help and terribly important to our democracy!

Contact all of the Arizona State Senators! Please use your extra power of persuasion with Senator Bee and Senator Arzberger. Tell the Senators:

* There is no evidence that HB2563 will ever lower any customer's cable bills.

* Public, Education & Government access cable channels are important to me &this bill will wipe them out!

* HB2563 is bad for community television regardless of its form or its amendments!

To easily send an email to all <>; AZ
Senators with one click, please visit:

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