Los Angeles, CA Full Disclosure Network is releasing this two minute video report featuring a short excerpt from a meeting with L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, held on October 29, 2009 where he informs Stanley Sheinbaum, the former LAPD Police Commission President and First Amendment powerhouse that Public Access television is finished in Los Angeles. The meeting was videotaped during an interview by Full Disclosure Network’s Host Leslie Dutton, as part of Documentary Series entitled “Saving The Public Channels in America”. In the interview Council member Rosendahl repeatedly called for citizens to come forward and pressure elected officials, his colleagues, and Congress to save public access channels.
SHOCK: COUNCIL BACKS OFF FROM PUBLIC ACCESS TV SUPPORT It was a shock when Councilmember Rosendahl informed Sheinbaum and Dutton that public access in L.A. is now finished and not expected to come before the council again. The entire Los Angeles City Council and the Mayor had unanimously signed off on a budget proposal that provided for a public access channel. That proposal was submitted just a few months ago by Sheinbaum and Dutton, Founding members of the Public Television Industry Corporation (PTIC) resulting from months of rallying public access TV supporters to testify a number of times before the City Council, the ITA Council Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee meetings. The PTIC plan received a recommendation from the ITA Agency and when the Mayor did not oppose the unanimous Council vote, or the ITA recommendation, it appeared that the proposal to restore public access TV in Los Angeles had full support.
CALL CITIZENS TO BATTLE ONCE AGAIN The Full Disclosure Network video report is being distributed by public access producers via Email in an effort to rally the troops for yet another push at the City Council in order to rekindle their commitment and restore the public channels. PTIC leaders have expressed a concern that a most of the public access viewers and producers can no longer be reached as the channels have been dark for almost a year. The elderly, low and moderate income citizens who are computer and Internet illiterate are without a means to receive local and neighborhood news via independent television programming. The mainstream media has long ago abandoned public affairs and local issues.
CITY DIVERTING MILLIONS IN PUBLIC ACCESS CABLE FEES? Currently the city receives $25 million dollars from cable franchise operators plus a yet to be reported amount from telecom giants ATT and Verizon who are now competing for subscribers and required to pay similar fee to the city. A 2007 State Law known as DIVCA mandated State control of public cable and telecom franchises. Included in the legislation however was a provision for an additional 1% ($5 million) exclusively reserved for public access facilities, also controlled by the City. The current fiscal crisis has led to speculation and questions regarding where the money will go.