October, 2015. Until the 1990s, smaller communities had 24-hour, local, live broadcasts on FM radio, serving local communities with news, community service, public information, acting as a modern town crier for smaller markets and allowing small businesses and individuals access to low cost advertising. Big media companies lobbied and won legislation in 1996 and 2000 to consolidate ownership and control and end local control of small town, local, and even college radio. The Federal government attempted a number of cursory reforms, including the Local Community Radio Act in 2011, and rules issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2012 to give micro-stations a way to get licensed. Unfortunately these new rules even further stifled growth of community radio, leading the Low Power FM Advocacy Group (LPFM-AG) to petition the FCC to modernize FCC's low-power FM rules to allow more competitive services, higher power and less onerous fines for regulatory violations. Our America Initiative (OAI) supports the LPFM-AG’s efforts. OAI asks you to email your U.S. Representative and Senators to support less onerous FCC regulation and a regulatory system geared towards compliance, not preferential treatment for large media companies. If you get a response from your Congressional Representative or Senator, post their response at our Rhode Island OAI Facebook page. Our America Initiative supports small business rights against overregulation, and when you donate, you help us promote small business in our state affiliates.
2014, October - Our America Initiative endorses Regulate Rhode Island's project to tax and regulate - not prohibit - marijuana, just as wine is treated. Specifically, we urge individuals to find their state representative and senator, and email them a "request to support Senator Josh Miller's Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act. Regulating and taxing marijuana will be better for public health and will help parents keep marijuana away from teens. And with our state confronting serious budget deficits and one of the worst unemployment rates in the country, regulating and taxing marijuana is a way to create good jobs for our state and fill in budget gaps that threaten vital services on which Rhode Islanders depend." In addition to asking your politicians to support the bill, you could submit a letter to the editor of your local paper, hand a flyer to attendees at meetings, and post this page link at various social media sites. Our America Initiative is supporting drug reform efforts in several states and would appreciate your signature on our national petition to end marijuana prohibition. And with your donation now and input from our Advisory Council on Drug Reform, we could expand a rolling back of the over-criminalization epidemic through more of our fifty state affiliates.
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