The Oakland City Council Finance Committee met on September 12th to discuss numerous items, including the call to establish the City’ Public Access Channel. Currently, Oakland has three access stations – two educational and one government – but does not have a station for community members to create and disseminate media content.
Bishop J.E. Watkins, founder of Overcomers With Hope (OWH) Television Studios, has been leading fight and spoke in support of the proposal. More than a dozen people alslo joined him at the Committee’s meeting in support of the station’s establishment, including Bob Lefcovich, President of Editware.
Although his company is based in Grass Valley, he noted “with a population of less than 13,000, [Grass Valley] has 3 [public access] channels,” said Lefcovich.
According to the Alliance for Community Media (ACM), the membership organization serving the public access field, fewer than 15 percent of cable systems include public access television. The ACM estimates that there are 1,500 public access operations in the U.S., with approximately one million hours of programming produced annually.
“Support this endeavor to bring Public Access Television to Oakland by calling the mayor and your city council member,” said Watkins. “Let’s become a pro-active city instead of a reactive city.”
All in support of the public access channel, Councilmembers Dan Kalb, Rebecca Kaplan and Annie Campbell Washington placed it on the committee’s calendar for follow up on October 24, 2017.