Governor Crist, Veto This Bill!

Dear Friends of Tampa Bay Community Network, your public access cable television station:

Recently, we wrote you for help to persuade the Florida Senate to vote against Senate Bill 998. Unfortunately, the Senate passed and sent it back to the House. It has now become House Bill 529, carries the misnomer “Consumer Choice Act of 2007” and is even worse than the earlier versions.

The bill is on its way to the Governor’s office for signature — or veto – and we must act quickly to let the Governor know we’re against it.

Please call [850-488-7146] or email the Governor

[ http://www.flgov.com/contact_form ] Here is the email which works JUST FINE … EMAIL HIM immediately and ask him to veto House Bill 529. Here are some reasons why it should be vetoed:

  • The bill is the beginning of the end of PEG [Public, Education and Government] access and free speech on the cable-waves in the State of Florida.
  • It removes local control over rights of way and all the provisions our local governments negotiated in franchise agreements that benefit residents.
  • It requires service complaints to go to the Department of Agriculture instead of local government. Do you think they will be more responsive to us than our local government?
  • It eliminates PEG channels at the end of current franchise terms or 2012, meaning there will be no PEG access channels in a few years. No place to get your issues out, your non-profit featured; your PSA’s done for free, your events covered, your voice heard or video production training that may change your life.
  • It allows the cable service provider to discontinue serving cable subscribers who may not be as profitable to them as they once were with a provision allowing the cable and telecom companies to discontinue service where there are less than 30 homes in a linear cable mile.
  • It discriminates against public access.

TBCN has helped neighborhood groups and non-profit organizations get their messages out to the community, recruit volunteers, relay concerns and garner attendance at fundraising events. We’ve been covering neighborhood political forums, ML King parades, fairs and festivals so viewers can almost “be there.” We’ve hosted panel discussions on health care topics, highlighted local artists and cultural events and provided coverage of University of Tampa and high school sporting events. We’ve given local musicians play on our channels and a chance to show off their talents.

Help us to be able to do this in the years to come and for future generations.

Call or write Governor Crist today and tell him to veto House Bill 529.

Thank you so very much.

Sincerely,

Tampa Bay Community Network
813-254-1687

http://www.tbcn.org

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