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Statements: Kennard

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Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
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Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 202/418-2555

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

May 13, 1999
David Fiske at (202) 418-0500

States that the FCC has a duty to ensure that licensees of the public airwaves serve
their local communities

Washington, DC -- William E. Kennard, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), participated today in a roundtable discussion on low power radio with representatives of many religious organizations.

The discussion took place at First Congregational Church in Washington, DC, and was moderated by Randy Naylor of the National Council of Churches.

Chairman Kennard said his job as FCC chairman was to ensure that the public spectrum is used to benefit all Americans and this goal will be served by a low power radio service that will give more Americans access to stations that serve the needs of their local communities. The Commission has proposed allowing FM stations to operate at low power levels to broadcast to their local communities. Comments are due on this proposal by June 1.

"As I've traveled around the country," he said, "I've met dozens of people who want to use the airwaves to speak to their communities -- churches, community groups, elementary schools, colleges, and minority groups. In the Commission's proposal for a low power radio service, these people see the opportunity to have their voices carry through their communities. To have their voices heard. And to bring together their communities through a shared message broadcast to all -- whether a church service, a school concert or assembly, or a speech by a local public official. "

Also attending the roundtable discussion were: Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ; Rev. Everett Parker, United Church of Christ (UCC); Rev. John Mack, Sr. Pastor, First Congregational Church, Washington, DC; Randy Naylor, National Council of Churches; Rev. Edward Rivera, Cleveland, OH; Kathleen Golden, Producer, Mary Knoll World Productions; Katherine Grincewich, Asst. General Counsel, U.S. Catholic Conference; Rev. Anand Veeraraj, Princeton, NJ; Sally White-Dishton, Intern, Westmoreland UCC, Washington, DC; Barbara Ferguson-Kamara, Asst. to Mayor, Washington, DC; Dr. James Mack, Howard Univ.; Kwami Osei Reed, UCC; Roberto Gutierez, Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Austin TX; Andrew Schwartzmann, Media Access Project.

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