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Weekly News From the President: Changing Society for the Better

Changing Society for the Better

Here’s some interesting late summer reading for you before the unofficial end of summer next Monday:

The Stanford Social Innovation Review published an article recently on the potential that millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) have for changing institutions and changing society for the better.

Particularly interesting to me is the idea that people in their twenties and early thirties now look at social good through the lens of individual actions, not institution building.

What does this mean for organizations that are thirty years old THEMSELVES? The author, Yordanos Eyoel, suggests three things:

  1. Invest in young leaders and entrepreneurs, particularly those close to communities who experience civic disenfranchisement, including communities of color and low-income communities.
  2. Create formal, funded structures within existing organizations for young people to innovate and lead.
  3. Engage young leaders as experts in both mainstream and industry-specific dialogue.

ACM has dipped our toes in this area the last few years by creating our Mentor Network, by funding professional scholarships for emerging leaders and by recognizing them at our National Conference.  However, I’m convinced we can do more and am already talking with folks in the Portland, OR area about how we can continue investing in young professionals in our field.

What are you doing in your community?  Share your story with other ACM members on our Listserv. If you haven’t signed up for it, let us know!

NATOA Conference 2018 & ACM’s Public Policy Briefing

Please say hello if you are in Philly this week for the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) Conference.  I’ll be speaking on Tuesday about revenue strategies with Marty Jones and Sue Buske, and will be here through Thursday talking with our colleagues who work in government telecommunication administration.

One hot topic on people’s minds here is the continuing threat to local control of public property and rights of way presented by Congress and the FCC.  That’s why we have been opposed to the Streamline Act (Senate Bill 3157) which proposes to eliminate the ability for local or state government to charge for the use of rights of way for wireless.  Once that happens, our friends in the cable industry will demand “fairness” and many of us fear that cable franchise fees will then disappear.

It’s the reason many of you went to Washington DC earlier this summer for our Day on the Hill event.  But we need more folks involved.  Please let me know if you want to be part of the political education effort we are putting forward to protect our channels, our media centers, and our communities.

We’ll have our next public policy briefing call on Thursday, September 6 at 4:00 pm ET.  Email me at mwassenaar@allcommunitymedia.org to get on the member invite list.

Mike Wassenaar
President & CEO
The Alliance for Community Media