The League of Women Voters strongly supports SB 625 which would direct the DCCA director to establish minimum requirements for public access to the meetings and records of access organizations and include the requirements in access organization contracts.
People who have any interest in the access stations, be they producers who have messages to broadcast to the community, or viewers of programs of one or all three of the components of PEG, all should feel a certain ownership of these access stations and many do. It was the federal government’s actions that made the creation of these stations possible. It is a department of the state government that sets the rules and the conditions and allocates the funds to the stations, and it is the subscribers to cable television who finance the stations in their respective counties.
The people who pay the fee that finance the access stations do have a stake in the
policies of these stations. Without forgetting the objectives of the three divisions of PEG, they do have a right to express their opinions on these policies. And you can only have a say if the process is open and if accurate information is readily accessible. And it is only this open process that will dispel any suspicions of wrongful intent or charges of unfair allocations of resources, etc. that we hear from time to time.
Through an open process, the access community can address and settle some of the issues -— the access community including the viewers who are an integral part of that community. After all, without viewers all we have would be empty mikes, not open mikes.
We urge you to pass SB 625. Thank you for this opportunity to testify on this bill.