Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2013): Fifty national organizations sent a letter to the White House today urging the Obama Administration to seriously consider women- and minority-related issues when filling the newly vacant Chair and Commissioner positions on the Federal Communications Commission.
The representation of women and minorities in media and telecom ownership, procurement, and employment remains disproportionately low in industries overseen by the FCC. These industries collectively represent one-sixth of our nation’s economy. The letter states, “Minority and women participation in broadcast ownership is particularly at risk, as it continues to decline rapidly.” As the nation becomes increasingly diverse, the signators encourage our President to address these issues by nominating leaders who will assign the highest priority to racial and ethnic minority and women’s participation in the nation’s most influential industries.
The letter notes that “a coalition of 57 national organizations has on file with the FCC 71 proposals to advance MWBE [Minority and Women Business Enterprises] entrepreneurship and procurement in media and telecom,” some of which have been pending before the Commission for nearly a quarter-century. Although former Commissioners Michael Copps and Deborah Taylor Tate have encouraged the Commission to vote on these proposals, every one remains unaddressed.
The organizations have offered the Administration any assistance it needs in “delivering first-class digital citizenship to all Americans.”
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications and broadband industries, and closing the digital divide. MMTC is generally recognized as the nation’s leading advocate for minority advancement in communications.