Letter from CAN TV re: June 18 Finance Hearing

Posted by Mitchell - June 3, 2004 (entry 193)

June 2004

Dear Friend of CAN TV:

After four years of joining forces to fight for CAN TVís funding, we hope that we are on the home stretch. As you know, Alderman Bernard Stone recently introduced an ordinance that is designed to help safeguard CAN TV's future. It is very important that this pass, particularly in light of the RCN bankruptcy announced on May 27, 2004. Even if RCN emerges from the bankruptcy, it will leave up to three cable areas, causing a significant drop in funding to CAN TV.

The ordinance provides for CAN TV to get one-fifth of the Cityís cable 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.

I've included a flyer announcing the City of Chicago Committee on Finance meeting at City Hall scheduled for Friday, June 18, 2004 at 10:00 a.m. At this meeting, the Aldermen will debate the issue and will vote to approve or reject the ordinance. Your presence is very important to assure that your alderman votes in support of the ordinance. If the ordinance passes, it will be forwarded to the full Council for a vote at the Wednesday, June 23, 2004 City Council meeting.

In an interview with The Chicago Reader, Alderman Stone explained that one-fifth of the franchise fee to help CAN TV is $2 million out of the City's $4.8 billion dollar budget. Says Stone, "Two million means what? A half a minute on Friends? A half a minute on the Super Bowl? We have to have some perspective -- Public access does a tremendous job for the people of Chicago."

We appreciate the many letters and petitions that have been sent to Mayor Daley and local Aldermen. We hope to keep the pressure up and keep the momentum going. If you havenít done a letter yet, please take a moment to do so. Information is available by calling CAN TV at (312) 738-1400 or at our website at www.cantv.org/rcn. Most importantly, please mark your calendar for June 18th. Feel free to call us if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Barbara Popovic
Executive Director

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