Opinion: Denver ought to fight another takedown of democracy

The Colorado Sun: The erosion of democracy over decades has been accompanied by transfer of wealth and power upward, and increased corporate dominance in every area, including media. Community public access media remains a rare vestige of democracy, even as its existence is threatened.

Current proposed FCC policy would defund thousands of community media stations nationwide by redefining, to benefit the corporate bottom line, the formula for public, education, government (PEG) fees that are assessed through cable providers including Comcast and CenturyLink.

Proposed FCC policies would further reduce both local government regulatory authority and municipal revenues, as well as eliminate a city or state’s legal ability to enact net neutrality rules.

Posted online by Portland Open Signal community: “This policy could eliminate the free access that community media centers provide citizens to create their own media and broadcast it over the cable system. One of our most powerful, most democratic local resources could be lost.”

The contrast could not be greater between responses by the leaders of Portland, Oregon, and Denver regarding efforts to preserve public access media. Portland Open Media is organizing with elected officials, the local Cable Regulatory Commission and other cities to fight the proposed FCC policy changes.

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