Access Pinellas, Pinellas County's Public Access station, affords thousands of Pinellas residents the tools, training and broadcasting capabilities needed to create our own television programs. This gives each of us a powerful voice through the cable network that winds its way across our county's public land.
Without Public Access television, we completely surrender our voice in the media to those of commercial interests. Without local control of media, we give away use of public lands, rent free, to the cable companies.
Both the FCC and the Florida Senate (SB998) propose surrendering local control of the franchise agreements that fund Public Access, and Pinellas County itself is considering cutting Access Pinellas from its budget. We are in danger of losing our station, and we are in danger of losing our ability to negotiate with the cable companies on a local level.
Access Pinellas is the source of local programming from a diverse group of committed citizen producers. To lose Public Access is to silence our voices. To silence our voices is to rob us of our right to freedom of speech.
We, the undersigned, call on Pinellas County Government to ensure full funding of Public Access in Pinellas, and further, to implement bylaws that ensure full funding in the future.
The Save Access Pinellas petition to Pinellas County, Florida was written by Tanya Coovadia and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.