Dear Chicago-Area media activists and union members,
We have just received notice that ECMC (Evanston Community Media Center)
may face cuts by the City Council that would spell the end of the public access
We need the broader Chicago area media activist community, including union locals,
to begin to gear up to support ECMC’s fight to stay alive. We know that many in
the Chicago area have come to the defense of Chicago Access Network TV (CAN TV)
when it has faced budget battles.
I should also mention that, among many other important community-oriented
programs on ECMC, Labor Beat has been on ECMC’s Channel 6 for a couple
of years (Mondays 5:30pm, Wednesdays, 9:00 pm, Saturdays, 12:30 am), and
is, as a result, able to bring pro-labor news to Evanston residents who would
otherwise be deprived of it.
We will be reporting on developing plans for this campaign to stop Evanston
budget cuts on ECMC. For the present, please read the information below and
pass it along to people and organizations that you know.
Labor Beat cable-tv
From: “Steve Bartlebaugh” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: December 21, 2009 9:28:11 AM CST
. . .I am the Executive Director of the Evanston Community Media
Center. We over see the Public, Educational and Government Community Access
channels on Comcast cable. We have supported Stop the Box by not allowing
our community channels to be carried on AT&T until they resolve some issues.
We now need your support. We officially received word Friday that if the
proposed City budget passes, ECMC would be taking a $200,000 cut. This
would essentially close down the Media Center at a time when it’s vital to
provide the citizens of Evanston the opportunity to use the airwaves and the
internet to have their collective voices heard. I have attached an e-mail
that went out to our members on Friday. If you believe in our cause. Please
contact your alderman.
Any help you can give us, would be appreciated.
From: “ECMC” <email@example.com>
Date: December 18, 2009 5:13:47 PM CST
ECMC has just received official word from the City of Evanston that the 2010
proposed budget has been released and it includes a $200,000 cut for the
Media Center, which for all intense and purposes, will close down ECMC.
As mentioned in my last e-mail, this is a proposed budget that can be
modified by the Evanston City Council. For that to happen, we need YOUR
Please contact your alderman as soon as possible. I am attaching a ward map
in case you are not familiar with what ward you are in. There is an
aldermanic e-mail list at the bottom of this e-mail, so you can send a
If you already have a relationship with your alderman and would like to call
your alderman directly, please do so. Keep your phone calls and e-mails
short and to the point. Explain how the Media Center affects you and the
community in a positive way. Here are some bullet points you can include:
1) After four city wide budget hearings, at no time did the public ask for
ECMC to be put on the chopping block
2) The effect of the cut (over $200,000) will effectively close down the
Media Center as we know it today
3) The organization has survived as a non-profit for 23 years, and currently
has over 100 individual members and 20 organizational members
* 4) Cable money should go to the local cable stations. The City receives
$847,000 in cable franchise fees (5% of gross on cable bills) and ECMC is
asking for $348,000 (less than half)
5) Locally produced Public Access programs provided over 300 new programming
hours last fiscal year. Special staff programming included over 18 hours of
election coverage and over 14 hours of Budget Workshops for the City.
Special Capital Project and District Overview videos were produced for
District 65 and regular live coverage of both school district board meetings
and City Meetings (Council, AP&W, CDBG) were provided by ECMC
List of City Council e-mail addresses:
Mayor Tisdahl firstname.lastname@example.org
City Manger Wally Bobkiewicz email@example.com
1st Ward Judy Fiske firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd Ward Lionel Jean-Baptiste email@example.com
3rd Ward Melissa Wynne firstname.lastname@example.org
4th Ward Don Wilson Wilson4th@aol.com
5th Ward Delores Holmes email@example.com
6th Ward Mark Tendam firstname.lastname@example.org
7th Ward Jane Grover email@example.com
8th Ward Ann Rainey firstname.lastname@example.org
9th Ward Coleen Burrus Burrusemail@example.com
The one unified message should be:
Cable company monies should go toward supporting local cable TV.
We will have an update for you next week with upcoming City Budget meeting
dates & times.
THANKS for YOUR HELP!