Community Radio is Bipartisan. Really.

The 111th Congress only has a scant few days remaining before the doors shut and their legacy is complete. Seems like a good time to really get down to some of this “bipartisan” business that we’ve been hearing so much about.

Cooperation, reaching across the aisle… when it comes up in stump speeches and on the cable news channels it sounds like it's just empty political rhetoric. But here’s an issue that has united Barack Obama, John McCain, Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders: Community radio.

And why shouldn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to see a bill pass that would allow the Federal Communications Commission to give out some new broadcasting licenses to nonprofit organizations so that they can have their own noncommercial radio station? In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find people opposed to it. Even groups that sometimes have difficulty agreeing – from the advocates at Consumers Union, to faith groups like the National Association of Evangelicals, to media reform organizations like Free Press, to emergency response organizations like the Newton County Mississippi Emergency Management Authority – wholeheartedly support low-power FM radio (LPFM).

In the waning days of the 111th Congress, the message we need to deliver to Capitol Hill is a simple one: Instead of just talking about bipartisanship, actually show it to us by passing the Local Community Radio Act once and for all.

Imagine all the possibilities this bill would help create:

  • Communities could air shows about the issues that matter to them, instead of being subjected to channel after channel of shock jocks and predetermined playlists.
  • Local music could replace the endless cycle of corporate record labels pushing the same songs day after day.
  • We could flip the dial to finally hear our own neighbors talking to each other about the things that affect our lives.

This week could be our best chance to win the fight for local radio – and for our lawmakers to fulfill their bipartisan promises. Tell your Senator today to fight for LPFM before the clock runs out.


The image below is from an advertisement placed in the November 17, 2010 edition of Politico. View full size image here.

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