May 5, 2004
Dear Friend of CAN TV:
Over the past five months, we've been updating you about the status of RCN's default. RCN's bankruptcy restructuring is now anticipated to take place in May. This situation signals the end of viable cable competition in most of Chicago, which puts CAN TV at risk of losing 40% of its budget. As you know, in order for CAN TV's survival and growth to be assured, the current funding structure must be changed.
50th Ward Alderman, Bernard L. Stone, has taken the lead in seeking a solution to this situation. At the City Council meeting on May 5, 2004, Alderman Stone introduced an ordinance that provides for CAN TV to get one-fifth of the City's franchise fee. This would be added to funds from the cable operators that remain in the City, thereby stemming the loss from the failure of cable competition and allowing for future growth.
Your immediate action is needed to make sure that this ordinance passes. Please contact your Alderman as soon as you receive this letter and ask that they support Alderman Stone's May 5th Ordinance in support of funding for CAN TV. Many of the Aldermen have spoken out in support of CAN TV. This is the opportunity to put those words into action. Without strong City Council support, this ordinance will fail and CAN TV's future will again be in question.
"Chicago Access represents--and has always represented--the People's Network", stated Stone. "It is the one place the people of Chicago can go and have a voice, which is exactly what we intended back in 1980 when we were working on the original ordinance."
Please call your Alderman today. Your support, your efforts, and your strong belief in CAN TV have helped get us this far. Working together with the City leadership, I'm confident we can resolve this situation and look with hope to a long and productive future.
The Finance Committee meeting for consideration of this ordinance can happen within weeks. Meeting dates will be posted on the CAN TV website at http://www.cantv.org/rcn as soon as we have that information. Please feel free to call CAN if you have questions.
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