We need letters from outside of Metro Detroit -- badly! The House
Resolution is looking great, with lots of support. But we are getting very
concerned about the Senate version. First, we will have no more than nine
days, once session resumes, to have it introduced into a committee and
passed to the floor for a vote. Republicans control all of the likely
committees -- and the Senate as a whole, too. If we don't get their
support -- and fast -- we don't have a chance. Here's the problem:
Democrats hold most of the seats from around Metro Detroit, but the
Republicans hold just about every other seat from around the entire state.
And virtually all of the letters we are gathering are coming from Metro
Detroit. We keep hitting the same Democratic senators with letter after
letter, with few letters going to the Republicans from Saginaw, Lansing,
Grand Rapids, etc. ********************** Lots of interest in the Contest
so far -- $1000 dollars in prizes, including (just added) a free $150 web
site on detroitmusic.com! Final Rules are below.
Bands: Win free studio time, etc. by helping to re-legalize community
radio (call 248-542-8090 for complete details)
(Note: The essential framework of this contest was worked out
democratically at the 10-13-98 Michigan Music Campaign public meeting. The
next day I spoke with Senator DeBeaussaert, and he imparted new
information which greatly raises the level of urgency, in regards to our
resolution. Basically, we have about three weeks to do the bulk of our
letter-writing campaign. Therefore, I am taking it upon myself,
unilaterally, to work out the details of this contest. I apologize for
acting undemocratically, but believe there to have been no other choice.
The first rule is that neither Jam Rag, the Michigan Music is World Class
(MMWC) Campaign, nor anyone else associated with this contest will be held
responsible -- for anything! By participating in this contest, you
understand; * That the main purpose of this contest is to re-legalize
community radio, * That the MMWC volunteers and Jam Rag staff get NOTHING
from this contest for ourselves other than a lot of hard work and
headaches, * That the aforesaid are good people, all trying their best to
do a good thing for the community, * That this contest is a rush-job, and
that we are working out the bugs as we go along, * That said volunteers
are doing and will do everything possible to ensure the contest is fair, *
That you are expected to be a good sport about the contest ( win or lose),
and collecting your prize (should you win), * That only three bands are
going to win the big prizes and (probably) only 30 will be featured in the
special issue of Jam Rag. But that every band who participates is a
winner, simply for helping to relegalize community radio. * Finally,
understand that you have my personal guarantee I am going to watch this
contest as if through a microscope, and that I will do my best to be sure
absolutely no one receives any intentional favoritism. TN
The three bands who turn in the most letters will get their pick of one of
three grand prizes;
* 10 hours studio time at Woodshed Studios ($350 value)
* Free mastering and 50 CDRs from Black River Records ($300 value)
* 12 hours studio time at Tibuta Music ($300 value)
* Free web
page on detroitmusic.com ($150 value)
We thank these generous folks for donating more than one thousand dollars
worth of prizes! Also, The first 30 bands to turn in at least 60 letters
will be featured in a special edition of Jam Rag (probably in January).
This edition will be devoted exclusively to these 30 bands. Each band can
expect about a 1/3 of a page devoted to them, including a color photo, a
small bio, contact info, maybe some lyrics. Also, All 30 bands will be
honored in a special party, also probably to be held around January.
3. COLLECTING LETTERS:
Letters must be from Michigan citizens. Get them from your bandmates, girl
and boyfriends, family, friends, fans, co-workers, people in coffee shops
-- anyone who is a Michigan citizen! The letters must include a legible
legal name and address. They must be addressed to the proper senator or
representative (or Governor Engler). Letters from persons under 18 are
acceptable, however registered voters are best of all. Letters can be
hand-written or typed. You CANNOT make copies of a form letter and have
people sign them. Each letter must be individually written or typed. Each
person may write up to three letters: one to their state senator, state
representative, and Governor Engler. Please encourage people to elaborate
with their letters. It is much better to have many individual opinions
expressed than simply the same letter repeated over and over. However, for
those in a hurry, here's the bare minimum:
"Dear Sen/Rep/Gov. XXXX
Please support House Resolution 379 and Senate Resolution 234.
Once a week, take all the letters you have accumulated and send them
Jam Rag, PO Box 20076, Ferndale MI 48220. Alternately, you can deliver
them in person to the MMWC Campaign meeting every Tuesday, 7:30pm, at
Xhedos Cafe (240 W 9 Mile, Ferndale, one block W of Woodward). Each
Friday, at 6:00 pm, we will count the letters received that week, and
tally the results. Make sure your letters are in our hands for each
Friday's tally! If you want to be safe, keep a copy of your letters. And
keep your own count, so we can compare numbers in case of a problem. Make
sure we know to credit your band for your letters! Plaster your name all
over your envelope to make sure you get credit! Try not to have your
friends send their letters directly to us -- it is much better that you
collect their letters, and send them all to us once per week. If you would
like to receive email updates on the letter-writing campaign, the contest,
and each week's tally, send me a note at email@example.com with your
email address. I'll try to have each week's tally out by each Saturday.
4. COUNTING THE LETTERS
When 30 bands have submitted at least 60 letters, the contest will be
over. At that time, the band with the most letters will get first pick of
the grand prizes. The second band will get to pick between the remaining
prizes, and the third band will receive the prize not yet claimed. The
other 27 bands will be notified, and arrangements will be made for their
story in Jam Rag and the party. In case of a tie between prize winners,
the winner will be decided by coin toss. In case more than 30 bands have
completed 60 letters by the end of the final week of the contest, the
additional bands will also be included (within reason) in the special
edition of Jam Rag and the party.
5. WHO THE HECK IS MY SENATOR?
Enclosed you will find a short list of about 40 of the most common
senators and representatives from around Metro Detroit (Wayne, Oakland and
Macomb Counties). Also inside you will find a multi-page listing of every
Michigan county and district, cross-referenced with the names of senators
and representatives. In some cases, you will need to refer to the maps
included. Still not sure? Call the Bureau of Elections, 517-373-2540, or
check out Project Vote Smart's web page. In some cases you may need a
zip+4 number to know for sure.
6. THIS IS COSTING PLENTY...
If you wouldn't mind, consider sending a few dollars to help pay for the
postage of this project. Understand that any donations will have
absolutely no effect on the contest. And (if you're not already), would
you consider becoming a Jam Rag Sustainer? If you like this contest, thank
a Jam Rag Sustainer -- because they paid for it!
QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? COMPLAINTS? Call 248-542-8090
or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Don Schellhardt asked me to pass on the following very legitimate
"Dear Tom & MJ,
I haven't wanted to disrupt the process in Michigan, which was already
underway, by raising this point.
HOWEVER, since the Michigan Resolution is now being "exported" to other
states, I have ONE RESPECTFUL REQUEST that is probably tiny to you but is
definitely important to me. That is:
In your "exports" of the text of the Resolution to other states
where the Resolution urges the FCC to "enact RM-9242", could you PLEASE
(a) substitute more broadly phrased language, such as urging the FCC
"adopt re-legalization of Low Power radio stations" OR "adopt
re-legalization of small radio stations";
(b) reference ALL of the pending Petitions.
For example, the "exported" Resolutions could urge the FCC to "consider
the numerous Petitions for re-legalization of Low Power radio stations --
that is, RM-9208 (Leggett/Schellhardt), RM-9242 (Skinner), the Community
Radio Coalition proposal, the Americans for Radio Diversity proposal and
the Committee for Democratic Communications proposal -- and to adopt
one, or a combination, of these proposals".
My first choice, and certainly the easiest one to implement, is (a).
However, (b) would accomplish the same result.
My MAIN reason for this request is PERSONAL. Although my "normal
is politics, I LIVE -- like many in the entertainment industry -- for
the spotlight. I work HARD and I want to receive recognition where I have
EARNED it. Much more than money, it's what keeps me going.
As a co-author of RM-9208, which was filed with the FCC 9 months BEFORE
the RM-9242 Petition was filed, and which was ACTED UPON BY THE FCC one
month before the RM-9242 Petition was filed, I am PAINED to see my work
ignored while someone who was 9 months behind me gets 100% of the
I think YOU would feel the same way if YOU were in MY shoes.
I also ask you to consider the OTHER proposals that are NOT mentioned
the current Resolution:
Community Radio Coalition (Bill Spry, Tom Desmond and 5 others)
Americans for Radio Diversity (dozens of people in the Upper Midwest)
Committee for Democratic Communications (Stephen Dunifer, Pete TriDish
dozens of activists throughout the country)
In fairness to ALL of us, please mention ALL of the Petitions
NONE of them.
Again: I am NOT asking you to destabilize the process in Michigan
trying to amend the pending Resolution now.
But I DO ask that you correct this distortion when and if the Resolution
is shipped out to other states AND/OR is re-introduced in Michigan next
Thank you. Yours,
PS. Here's another reason to drop the reference to RM-9242:
The FCC, according to several unofficial reports, may issue a proposed
rule before Christmas (and maybe even before Thanksgiving). ALL of the
Petitions have been fodder for that ONE proposed rule.
Once the proposed rule has been issued, RM-9242 and all of the other
proposals will literally become HISTORY: IMPORTANT history, but history
At that point, a reference to RM-9242 (or any of the OTHER Petitions!!)
will be worse than irrelevant: it will be CONFUSING. It will shift
attention from the ONE proposal that will matter then: the FCC's
Our movement will want to concentrate ALL of its time and energy on
supporting -- or improving -- THAT idea!!!!
This strengthens the case for just omitting ANY reference to ANYONE'S
specific proposal. (Option (a)) But ... IF you feel, for some reason,
that you MUST still mention RM-9242, PLEASE show some respect for the
HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE -- literally, HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE -- who have
authored or supported a proposal other than Rodger Skinner's!! PLEASE
mention US, too.
Thank you again for correcting this situation. "
We certainly did not intend to slight Don or any of the other petitioners.
We were not involved with the writing of the resolutions. The Senator and
Representative took it upon themselves, acting with a bare minimum of
information. Although we cannot by ourselves change what they have already
read into the record, we certainly will advise both (and everyone else at
the Capitol) of Don's valid concerns, and ask them to amend the
We've also heard the FCC may issue an NPRM shortly. We've also heard
the agency will issue an NOI instead. Either situation would open up a new
60 day (30/30) public comment period, for which pending or signed
resolutions would be very helpful.
Jam Rag Press/Michigan Music is World Class Campaign
PO Box 20076, Ferndale MI 48220