Eureka Greens Free Speech Headquarters

Welcome to the home of Green-oriented free speech! We invite all populist-oriented bloggers who hold the Ten Key Values dear to join a real, adult discussion about issues that matter. All registered Greens living in the Greater Eureka area are invited to open a Blogger account and help co-create this site. Any inappropriate postings or comments will be removed.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Resolution to Establish Grassroots Democratic Control Over Public Access Media



January 6, 2007

RESOLUTION of the Waterfront Greens

Resolution to Establish Grassroots Democratic Control Over Public Access Media

Whereas, The platform for the Green Party of California "demands that everyone has a right to access of the various media for the free expression of their viewpoints," due to the fact that "access to information has profound consequences to our democracy," and,

Whereas, Public access channels for use by local governmental and educational institutions as well as directly by independent producers are mandated by law since the overwhelming passage of the federal Communications Act of 1984 by the U.S. Congress, and,

Whereas, Communities including Eureka have hosted public access stations supposedly available to all Humboldt County residents for over 15 years, the most prominent of which having been Arcata’s Channel 12, which until 1999 was under the auspices of a contract with the independent Arcata Community Access Television (ACAT) and featured a wide variety of local news, commentary and entertainment programs from over 50 independent local producers without fear, favor or censorship, and,

Whereas, Until 1999, the Board of Directors of ACAT was in compliance with state law and its own bylaws in ensuring the regular rotation of the membership of its Board of Directors through periodic elections, and

Whereas, In 1999 and 2000, a small group led by then-ACAT President Roland Yartzoff and closely aligned with City officials, local politicians and The Arcata Eye got rid of most local, independent producers and programming and destroyed the ability of ACAT to function, leading to the termination of its Channel 12 management contract with the City of Arcata, and,

Whereas, During his tenure as ACAT Station Manager, Rob Amerman, who was subsequently the HCTV Station Manager, admitted to illegally confiscating a broadcast tape from an independent producer instead of fulfilling the station’s contractual obligations to air a public access program, and committed numerous other violations of station rules in clipping shows, including their credits, moving shows unilaterally to different times, damaging broadcast tapes and censoring programming, and,

Whereas, The website of HCTV blatantly admitted that the station is not free of censorship following the hiring of the HCTV Station Manager, with the Channel 12 schedule dominated by satellite programing copied form other stations such as Free Speech Television and the Classic Arts Network, along with out-of-count religious programming as well as bulletin boards exclusionary of Green Party announcements, and,

Whereas, Despite promises of re-introducing democratic oversight and control of Channel 12, the HCTV Board of Convenors, organized under the auspices of the Humboldt Area Foundation, never held a membership meeting or called a fair and free election for a new Board of Directors that they always intended to appoint directly, nor did they address the governance of Eureka’s Channel 10 or the College of the Redwoods-administered Channel 8, and,

Whereas, Cox Communications, Inc., the former cable provider which hosted Channel 12 and administered Channel 10, concluded franchise renewal negotiations with Humboldt County and the cities of Arcata, Blue Lake, Eureka, Ferndale, Fortuna and Rio Dell, which included both franchise fees to local governments and direct assistance to public, education and government access to the cable system (including financial support and the construction of a permanent facility for public access channels at the company’s expense), and,

Whereas, With the purchase of the cable franchise from Cox Communications, Inc. by Sudden Link Communications, Inc. and the transfer of public access channels from HCTV to Access Humboldt, Greens and other concerned citizens have the opportunity to ensure true free speech and democracy on local cable access television. Therefore be it

Resolved, The Waterfront Greens applaud the steps taken towards the creation of a somewhat independent Board of Directors of Access Humboldt and encourage an increase in the number of elected seats to form a Board majority in order to ensure true membership empowerment and grassroots democratic control. Be it further

Resolved, The Waterfront Greens demand a fair, free and open election of the Board of Directors by any resident who wishes to join Access Humboldt, regardless of economic or other privilege. Be it further

Resolved, The Waterfront Greens call for the immediate implementation of policies to guarantee the complete political and journalistic freedom from censorship for public access programming that is essential to precluding prior restraint of free expression and ensuring that the diversity of viewpoints reflected includes Greens of every shade. Be it further

Resolved, The Waterfront Greens call for the revocation of all banishments previously placed upon any resident of Humboldt County who wishes to produce public access programming or otherwise contribute to the operation of Channel 12, whether these banishments were made by a government official or by a Channel 12 staff member or administrator, and to further establish formal and de minimis guidelines as to future disciplinary policies. Be it further

Resolved, The Waterfront Greens ask Sudden Link Communications, Inc. to establish separate stations for Free Speech Television and the Classic Arts Network on the basic tier of service, and not to allow these stations to use Channel 12 cablecast time meant for local programming. Be it further

Resolved, The Waterfront Greens ask the new Board of Directors of Access Humboldt, once the majority of Directors are subject to membership election, to amend their Bylaws (with the ratification of Access Humboldt members) to ensure elections that are open to free competition, meetings that are public, well-noticed and televised as well as station rules which do not overly restrict access to cablecast time, especially in regular time slots, for independent producers. Be it further

Resolved, The Historian of the Waterfront Greens shall transmit this resolution to the Emerald Regional Greens, the Coordinating Committee and Green Issues Working Group of the Green Party of California, the Access Humboldt Station Manager, the Access Humboldt Board of Directors, the Humboldt Area Foundation, the League of Women Voters, Sudden Link Communications, Inc., the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, the Arcata City Council, the Blue Lake City Council, the Eureka City Council, the Ferndale City Council, the Fortuna City Council, the Rio Dell City Council, the Trinidad City Council, the Federal Communications Commission and the media.

2 Comments:

  • At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great resolution. I wish you the best.

     
  • At 8:25 AM, Anonymous imsmall said…

    DISDAINFUL SPEAKING

    It seems the vast majority
    Of people do not care--
    They say adieu but willingly
    To blessings that all share
    Of their free speech and their democracy.

    Now living´s standard starts to fall,
    Here the majority
    Grow nervous and upset, but all
    Yet speak disdainfully
    Of their free speech and their democracy.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home