A coalition of organizations have sent a letter to President Barack Obama regarding the possibility of forwarding the cause of minority and female communications license ownership as he prepares to nominate replacements for Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioner Robert McDowell.
“The FCC needs leaders committed to reversing the extraordinarily low representation of minorities and women in media and telecom ownership, procurement and employment,” the letter states.
The letter cited a 2009 MMTC study which found that minorities owned only 7% of radio licenses and 3% of full power television licenses, a level far below their presence in the overall population.
The group noted that 71 proposals are currently sitting at the FCC awaiting action, many for 10 years and some for as long as 23 years.
The group also noted weak employment levels, and suggested EEO enforcement needs to be stepped up. They said this is particularly important given the huge percentage of the overall economy contained within the FCC’s communications jurisdiction. The group said 1/6th of the economy could be attributed to communications enterprises, and added that the sector is expected to account for 70% of all new jobs.
The organizations signatory to the letter include:
Alliance for Community Media
Alliance for Women in Media
American Indians in Film and Television
Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies
Black College Communication Association
Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association
Black Leadership Forum, Inc.
Hispanic Elected Local Officials
International Black Broadcasters Association
Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
League of United Latin American Citizens
MANA – A National Latina Organization
Minority Media and Telecommunications Council
National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
National Association of Black County Officials
National Association of Black Elected Legislative Women
National Association of Black Telecommunications Professionals
National Association of Hispanic Publications
National Association of Latino Elected Officials
National Association of Latino Independent Producers
National Association of Multicultural Digital Entrepreneurs
National Bar Association
National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials
National Black Caucus of State Legislators
National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc.
National Black Chamber of Commerce
National Black Farmers Association
National Conference of Black Mayors
National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc.
National Congress of American Indians
National Congress of Black Women, Inc.
National Council of Negro Women
National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts
National Indian Telecommunications Institute
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
National Newspaper Publishers Association
National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce
National Puerto Rican Coalition
Native American Journalists Association
Organization of Chinese Americans
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
United Negro College Fund
UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, Inc.
Vision Maker Media
Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press