As I write this month’s column, we just recently completed our June membership drive — the final pledge drive of our fiscal year. If you renewed your membership or sent an additional gift during our year-end campaign, thank you! We could not do it without you!
Your support is critical to our ability to purchase the full PBS programming service (estimated to be over $406,000 in the upcoming fiscal year) and offer SOPTV-Create and SOPTV-World, as well as local programs like My Story of Service, Local Focus, Immense Possibilities, Brain Bowl, Student Showcase, and more!
In addition, we have recently suffered a catastrophic loss of equipment during the lightning storm on June 25. As we finally get back on the air, we are still calculating the replacement costs of equipment that protects our broadcasting capabilities. More than ever, your support is critical so we can afford to replace equipment whenever disaster strikes.
In May, Congress approved the FY17 omnibus spending bill, including level funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting at $445M (that’s 1/100th of 1% of the federal budget). In June, the President released his “skinny budget,” which only provides funding for an “orderly closeout” of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
While there is strong support in the Oregon delegation and in the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, we cannot take anything for granted as Congress prepares to submit a budget to the President in a few months for the upcoming federal fiscal year, October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018.
PBS commissioned a special survey last winter that shows the American people overwhelmingly support federal funding of public television.
• The poll conducted in early 2017 reveals 73% of viewers oppose eliminating federal funding for public television.
• 83% of voters — including 70% of those who voted for President Trump — say they would tell elected representatives to find other places to save money.
• 72% rated public television as an excellent or good value for their tax dollars.
• 2 in 3 voters think it is very or fairly important for America to have a strong public television system.*
I encourage you to visit www.protectmypublicmedia.org. Follow the proceedings and make up your own mind how important PBS and SOPTV’s services are to you.
Many thanks for your support of SOPTV.