President's Message | July 6, 2020

Mark Glaser Article 


Many observers have talked about how the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified conditions of inequality that already exist in America.

The journalist Mark Glaser this month has written an interesting summary of ways local communities are reacting to the information crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

I spoke with Glaser last month about the ways PEG stations are connecting with people who need vital information on the local level.   I’ll be talking more about how stations are reacting to the crisis with channel operators in New Jersey later this week.
One of the things I am asking ACM members to do is tell their story of community service, and tell it well.  As we continue into the late summer and fall months, more and more local governments will be making decisions about budgets and emergency response to the outbreak. That means we must be clear about the value we provide and why we are a necessary service locally.   


Sweet Home, Stay at home 

I hope you take advantage of the ACM Stay at Home Workshops taking place this month – Sue Miller Buske will lead a three part workshop looking at case studies for how community media centers are re-envisioning their work, and Gerry Lederer will be leading a workshop on advocacy skills you, your staff and your Board can use to tell your story to decision makers.   Sign up today!

 Rep. Nita Lowey of New York

Rep. Nita Lowey of New York has become the 36th co-sponsor of HR 5659, the Protecting Community Television Act.  The act clarifies the question that franchise fees are monetary in nature, and stops the FCC’s destabilizing our channels and local communities.

That’s great news, but we need more co-sponsors for the bill in the House and Senate.  I’m asking all ACM members to reach out to their Senators and Representatives to sign onto the bills.

If you haven’t talked with their offices, I’m here to help. I will send you materials and help coach you in the ask (and if you need a shot in the arm for confidence, you and other folks in your organization should attend Gerry’s workshop on July 16th!).  Reach me by email at 

Let’s see what we can do by Labor Day!

Mary Van Sickle 

My thanks and congratulations go out to the Mary Van Sickle, my longtime colleague in Bismarck ND who was honored by ACM with the Buske Leadership Award last week.  We’ll be announcing other national award winners in coming weeks.

Mary has been a leader at the regional and national level with ACM and she’s done the job with grace, smarts and quiet charm. She stepped up to be the Chair of the National organization for a colleague during a time of crisis and provided me with support and vision during her time of service.

We sometimes see leaders as the folks who speak most. Mary is one of those leaders who speak best.
Congratulations, Mary!

Hometown Media Awards Watch Party! 
And I hope you’ll join us for the Hometown Media Awards Watch Party Thursday, July 9 at 8 pm ET.   We want to celebrate the great work produced last year together. Be sure to join early as we will start promptly at 8 pm ET! 

Mike Wassenaar
President & CEO
The Alliance for Community Media