Support for Federal Communications Commission’s Efforts to Implement the Local Community Radio Act (LCRA)
Advocacy Letter - 07/11/11
Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: FCC Chairman and Commissioners
Dear Chairman Genachowski and Commissioners Copps, McDowell, and Clyburn:
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States, we write to express our strong support for the Federal Communications Commission’s recent efforts to implement the Local Community Radio Act (LCRA), a longstanding priority of the civil and human rights community.
We advocated for and supported passage of the LCRA in order to expand opportunities for new low power radio stations across the country, and particularly in urban markets where they have not been previously available. The Leadership Conference has long regarded expanding ownership by women and people of color as an important goal because of the powerful role the media plays in the democratic process, as well as in shaping perceptions about who we are as individuals and as a nation.
The goal of the LCRA is to ensure that all segments of society have the opportunity to participate fully in the broadcast communications environment. The Commission’s action will ensure that this goal is carried out in two important ways: by enhancing diverse viewpoints and by enhancing diverse ownership. By providing community leaders the opportunity to have a voice on the public airwaves where no such opportunity previously existed, new LPFM radio stations will help promote greater diversity on the public airwaves.
We are pleased the Commission has conducted a detailed and careful analysis in each market to ensure availability of low power radio stations in urban markets and also protect the interests of broadcasters with existing applications for supplementary licenses known as translators. In so doing, the Commission is implementing Congress’ directive that the Commission “ensure that licenses are available to ... low-power FM stations” as well as translator stations and booster stations. 1 We support the Commission’s efforts to secure spectrum for LPFM station in urban markets, while rapidly licensing new translators in markets where such licensing would not undermine availability of LPFM stations. The Leadership Conference recognizes that this task involves an important balancing of interests, and we commend the Commission’s proposal to do so.
We encourage the Commission to act expeditiously to implement the Local Community Radio Act and to maximize availability of low power radio stations consistent with the priorities laid out by Congress. Should you require further information or have any questions regarding this issue, please contact The Leadership Conference Media/Telecommunications Task Force Co- Chairs Cheryl Leanza, at 202-904-2168; Christopher Calabrese, at 202-715-0839; or Corrine Yu, at 202-466-5670.
President & CEO
Executive Vice President
1 Local Community Radio Act, Pub.L. 111-371, §5.